Your loved one over the age of 55 has worked all their life paying off their mortgage, paying property taxes and keeping up their property — but has the misfortune to contract a long-term illness.
Your whole family works hard to keep this loved one in their home, and you are so grateful for Medicaid to supplement Medicare so that your loved one can receive the medical care they need. You met all the financial requirements, the asset requirements and you are assured you will not have to move your loved one out of their home and sell it, as they do not count the home as an asset. Then the unthinkable happens and your loved one passes away.
Your family is comforted knowing that the house stays in the family, and grandkids or kids have a place to call home, rich with memories and history. Think again. A little-known provision in the Utah law is Title 26, Chapter 19, Section 405 — something you are never told about when applying for Medicaid, nor is it mentioned in any of the numerous papers, reviews and documents you are now responsible for to stay on Medicaid.
This statute says that Medicaid, months after the death of your loved one, will send you a letter stating that you have to sell the house to pay them back. But wait! Your loved one paid state and federal payroll taxes for years; wasn’t some of this going to Medicaid? Yes, it was. But that will not stop them from forcing you to either come up with the money or sell the house.
Heaven forbid that in some of their last days your loved one was in ICU or a rehab center, even if they died at home. The state government will essentially claim eminent domain over the residence and force you out.
Medicaid expansion is needed and I will vote for it. However, if you think this will help the poor and elderly, be careful. If they own a home, they will lose it. If I had known this statute, I would have made a different decision and purchased a Medicare supplement plan for my mother instead of helping her apply for Medicaid.
Seanna Williams, Orem