My husband and I were in the threshold for the first 10 months of 2014. We were struggling to successfully pay our bills and decided to sell an income property to reinvest. Is it just bad timing that we didn’t wait till 2015 to sell and buy another property?

We are now being told we must pay back the entire subsidy which is approximately $7,000.
I have been trying to find out if there is a way to just have to pay November and December when our income improved or if I have to pay back 100% even though income was not good till we sold our income property in November.


Marketplace cost assistance is based on annual MAGI, but Medicaid can use monthly MAGI. This means lump-sum income can throw off cost assistance for the year. If you go over 400% of the Federal Poverty Level you'll owe back the full tax credit taken in advance.

So, to your point above, yes this was just bad timing. In some instances you can write off some part of lump-sum income and some lump-sum income in non-taxable, however this isn't the case with profits on an income property. The one suggestion here would be to try postponing the tax under IRS code Section 1031. That lets you use the profits to buy a like-kind property without paying federal capital gains taxes. However, as we understand it this process must be started before selling the house.

In some instances lump-sum income can disqualify you from Medicaid for a month and it can certainly disqualify you from tax credits making you have to repay the full tax credit. There is no way to pay the fee for just the months after receiving the lump sum.

Hopefully this rule will be rewritten down the line to extend some sort of forgiveness to people in an honest situation like this, but generally anything that is going to increase your taxable income is going to decrease tax credit eligibility.

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Julie on

My family is on Medicaid and I am about to receive a lump sum payment from the sale of my home in January, 2017. Do I report this one time lump sum payment for the month of January and then report my normal monthly income again in February? How does this effect my families Medicaid coverage for the month of January? And, where do I report this lump sum payment?

Erin on

According to the capital gains from the sale of your primary home is not counted as income for the purposes of Medicaid unless you are moving into a long term care facility or transferred the home for less than fair market value it does not count against your Medicaid eligibility. Up to $250,000 (single) and $500,000 (joint) of capital gains on sale of the primary home can be deducted and it isn’t added back in for MAGI.

Julie on

My family is currently on Medicaid. I am going to be receiving a lump sum payment in January when my home sells. Do I report this lump sum payment in the month of January and then go back to reporting my monthly income in February? In addition, does this impact my Medicaid coverage for the month of January but not any other months where I do not have a lump sum payment? on

You should contact your state Medicaid department for specifics. I don’t want to give an overly general answer knowing that different states have different rules.