ELMWOOD, KS (KCTV) — A Kansas family is warning others that Medicaid can take your house.
It’s a lesson learned the hard way after a grandmother battled cancer and spent her final years in a nursing home.
“People need to know they are going to do this. People need to know they can take away your homes if they help your parents,” Janie Lucas warns.
Treva Bollman worked for years and paid taxes before cancer hit hard. There were surgeries and Bollman needed nursing care.
“It was a long hard battle,” Lucas said.
Bollman had Medicare and then Medicaid as a secondary insurance.
The family says the question if Bollman understood the strings attached.
The state recently put what’s called a “post death Medicaid Lien” on the property.
“We get this letter after she gets sick. Saying they want it now. it’s no longer mine and that’s not right,” Walter Bollman said.
“For the state to say we helped you now we want our money back. It’s almost half a million dollars,” Lucas said.
The family says the property is sentimental but question the value to others.
“It’s Elwood, Kansas. So, it’s worth maybe $50,000 to $60,000,” Lucas said.
“We are living on a sandbar so you have sinkholes coming up everywhere,” Walter Bollman said.
The family is sharing what happened to them to warn possibly help others.
“When someone goes on Medicaid, they are notified that at some point estate recovery is going to be a part of this process. Unfortunately, they are inundated with so much paperwork it probably doesn’t even get noticed,” elder car attorney Tim Winkler said.
Winkler points out every day 9,000 baby boomers turn 65, but many families are unprepared.
“If you get good advice there are steps you can take to lessen it or avoid it,” Winkler said.