Can I Sell My House Without Repaying Medicaid?

 In Long-Term Care Planning


I’ve on MassHealth Commonhealth for about six years. I’ve been trying to figure out if the same rules apply with MassHealth and MassHealth Commonhealth when it comes to reimbursement for money laid out for you by MassHealth when you die. I’m thinking of selling my house and either renting or moving to an independent senior living place. Will MassHealthCommonhealth put a lien on my house if I sell it? If I sell the house I would have enough money, I would hope, to get off MassHealth Commonhealth.


MassHealth is the name Massachusetts gives to its Medicaid program and Commonhealth is one if its Medicaid programs for coverage of people living in the community rather than in a nursing home. This question to some extent conflates two issues which is not uncommon. When a Medicaid beneficiary dies, the state has a right to recover from his or her estate whatever it has paid out under the Medicaid program on that person’s behalf after she was 55 years old or at any age for nursing home care. That’s separate from a lien on real estate. The state may also place a lien to secure its rights under certain circumstances. However, doing so requires a judicial process.

In your case, if you have not received notice that a lien has been placed, there will be no claim on the house when you sell it. The acting of selling does not invoke the lien. It would have to be placed on the property before its sale. In addition, you do not have to give notice to the state Medicaid agency prior to the property’s sale, just after the sale has gone through.

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