Are mobile homes treated as assets by Medicaid or are they considered homes and therefore exempt?
Mobile homes, also called trailer homes, are considered to be homes (or “homesteads”) by Medicaid. However, it is important to clarify that one’s home is considered to be an asset by Medicaid, but in most cases, it is considered to be exempt, or in other words, it is not counted towards Medicaid’s asset limit.
As further explanation, there is an asset limit that must be met in order to be qualify for long-term care Medicaid. For a single applicant, the limit is generally $2,000. For married couples, the asset limit is more complicated and depends on if one (or both spouses) are applying for Medicaid benefits. (For state specific asset limits, click here). That said, there are several higher valued assets that are not considered towards the asset limit, and as mentioned above, one’s home generally falls in this category.
For the home, including a trailer home, to be considered exempt, it must be the Medicaid applicant’s primary home. To clarify, this means it is the home in which the applicant resides. Furthermore, the applicant must have an equity interest in the home no greater than a specific value. (To calculate one’s equity interest, any debts on the home are subtracted from the fair market value of the home, which determines the home’s equity value. For persons that solely own the home, the equity interest is the same as the equity value. For persons that own the home with one other person, the equity interest is half of the equity value). In 2020, the equity interest limit is $595,000 in approximately 40 of the states and is $893,000 in the remaining states. There are two exceptions; California has no equity interest limit and Wisconsin has the equity interest limit set at $750,000. (State specific equity interest limits can be found here).
If the applicant does not live in the home, it may still be considered exempt from Medicaid’s asset limit. One way in which the home could remain exempt is if the applicant relocates to another residence, such as a nursing home or an assisted living residence, but expresses an “intent” to return to the home in the future. Another way is if the applicant has a spouse, a minor child, a permanently disabled child, or a blind child that lives in it. Furthermore, if this is the case, the home equity interest limit does not apply.
Now, specifically back to mobile homes. Even if the Medicaid applicant does not own the land on which the mobile home is set, it still remains exempt from Medicaid’s asset limit, given the above criteria are met.