Deseret News
Letter to the editor

Your loved one over the age of 55, who has worked hard all his or her life paying off a mortgage, paying state, federal and property taxes, and keeping up his or her property, has the misfortune to contract a long-term illness. You will not have to move your loved one out of his or her home and sell it because it's not counted as an asset. 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 state law, Title 26, Chapter 19/26-19-S405, is something you are never told about when applying for 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.

6 comments on this story

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 ones were in the ICU or a rehab center, even if they died at home. Medicaid expansion is needed, and I will vote for 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