Simply Money: Can Medicare take you home to pay for hospice?

Q: "If you own your home and property, can Medicare take it to pay for hospice care?"

A: No, Medicare cannot take your home.

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are age 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with specific serious illnesses.

You pay monthly premiums and co-pays for coverage, similar to private insurance plans. Hospice care is generally covered by Medicare.  The only way Medicare can seize your property or assets is if you cheat the system.

Medicaid is a joint U.S. federal and state government program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources.

Medicaid programs vary from state to state, but most health care costs are covered if you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.

For those that qualify for Medicaid, your estate could be lost to the government under the estate recovery program. This is complex, though, so I recommend you work with an elder law or estate planning attorney licensed in your state.