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Understanding the Medicaid Caregiver Child Exemption

August 7, 2023

At Best Care, we're committed to keeping the Minnesota caregiving community well-informed about the various assistance programs they may be entitled to.

For lower-income households, one program that could help your family is the Medicaid Caregiver Child Exemption. This program can help older adults who rely on Medicaid and their adult child, their caregiver. 

Let’s review this exemption, including who it’s for and how to use it. 

What Is the Medicaid Caregiver Child Exemption? 

The Medicaid Caregiver Child Exemption is a benefit that allows an elderly individual to transfer their home to an adult child without breaching Medicaid's "Look Back Period," which monitors asset transfers made within 60 months of applying for Medicaid. 

These rules prevent people from offloading most assets to qualify for Medicaid.

Under the Medicaid Caregiver Child Exemption, seniors can 

“transfer their primary home to their adult child who has been providing them with care. They can give or sell the home for less than fair market value without jeopardizing their long-term care Medicaid eligibility.” 

This transfer of ownership is allowed because it’s considered compensation for providing care, which delays the senior’s need for Medicaid-funded care (typically, a nursing home.)

How Does a Family Qualify for This Program? 

To qualify for this exemption, the adult child must have resided with the parent for at least two years, as their primary residence, before the parent's admittance to Medicaid. 

The caregiver’s duties should include general caregiving tasks—not nursing-level care. Therefore, caregivers may help parents with the following functions: 

  • Cooking
  • Eating
  • Personal grooming
  • Dressing
  • Other daily activities

The American Council on Aging’s article continues:

“For cognitively impaired persons, such as those with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, supervision to ensure the parent’s health and safety, such as prevention of wandering, might also be provided.”

Note: At this time, grandchildren, stepchildren, foster children, nieces, nephews, and in-laws are NOT eligible for this assistance program. The adult child receiving this exemption must be either a biological or adopted child of the care recipient.

To qualify for the exemption, you must submit proof of your relationship to your care recipient (e.g., birth or adoption certificate), proof of residency in your parent’s home, and evidence that care was provided that delayed nursing home admission (e.g., care logs, physician statements, etc.). 

Learn more about the details of these requirements.

Getting Help with Medicaid Exemptions

The Medicaid Caregiver Child Exemption can significantly benefit those who qualify, but deciphering the details can be challenging! Let our team direct you to professional resources to help you make informed decisions.

Reach out to Best Care today!

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