Another change under the new law will affect the home. Previous law permitted an exemption for the personal residence of a Medicaid applicant regardless of its value. The new law will limit that exemption to $750,000. Those with equity in the home exceeding $750,000 will have that excess equity treated as an available resource and will be forced to use that equity to pay for nursing home care before they can qualify for Medicaid. Under the old laws, home equity loans taken on the principal residence could be spent without restriction. The new law may create a disqualification for any home equity loan proceeds that are not spent on medical expenses. There are still exceptions, however, that allow the home to be transferred to a spouse, disabled child, or minor child, without affecting eligibility for Medicaid.
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