When Does Selling the Home Hurt When it Comes to New Jersey Medicaid?
In the case of a married couple the mistake families often make is to sell the home when funds begin to dwindle. They may very well desire to downsize, move in with a child, rent, etc. and we may agree that this is the best plan under normal circumstances. However, the timing of the move is critical. If, for example, one spouse needs nursing home care, the sale of the home results in countable asset for Medicaid purposes which will leave the healthy spouse with fewer assets to live on. To understand this, go back to my discussion of the definition of the snapshot of assets on 11-29-12.
In that case, the house should be sold after the ill spouse is approved for Medicaid. That’s because once New Jersey approves the application they have determined what the community spouse can keep (including the home). If the community spouse sells after that point and the assets are then countable, they are only countable for that spouse. The sale will not affect the institutional spouse’s eligibility.