Superior Court Overturns MassHealth Denial

Sep 5, 2012News

A judge in the Middlesex Superior Court found that MassHealth improperly denied nursing home benefits to a woman who had purchased an interest in the home she had lived in for 26 years prior to entering a nursing home.  The judge determined that the woman had paid fair market value for a one-third share of the home, and that the property qualified as her exempt primary residence.  The value of exempt assets is not counted toward the $2,000 that applicants for MassHealth benefits are allowed to keep.  Carol Cioe Klyman filed the successful appeal on behalf of the woman’s daughter and executor.  (Nogrady v. Office of  Medicaid, Middlesex Superior Court No. 104007,  June 22, 2012).  This is the second successful appeal Attorney Klyman has brought on behalf of clients who were denied MassHealth benefits on the basis that they purchased joint interests in real estate.  The Office of Medicaid had argued that the purchases were disqualifying transfers in that the purchasers were elderly and infirm, with reduced life expectancy, and therefore unlikely to receive any benefit from owning property.  Judge Bruce Henry found that the client paid a fair price for the property and that the agency improperly focused on her age and infirmity in determining whether the home qualified as her exempt primary residence.