How can we cover her nursing home care long term?

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  • #86776 Reply

      I have a family member that spent all of their working years saving for retirement but neglecting their health. She is 71, living in a nursing home and it’s costing her $8,000/mo. She doesn’t qualify for Medicaid. She currently has:

      • $5600 between her pension & social security
      • Cash: $30k (this is being used to pay the difference for nursing home care)
      • No 401k (Drained in the first few years of living in a nursing home)
      • She owns a home, but we recently discovered that she’s upside down on it and has 2 mortgages. Her daughter is living in it, but is very behind on the mortgage. Her daughter has some developmental delays, so we cannot rely on her as a resource for her mother.

      How can we cover her nursing home care long term? Our family is considering pitching in to cover the difference, but that isn’t sustainable long-term. Do we just drain 100% of her accounts/assets & hope she qualifies for Medicaid in the future?

      #86777 Reply

        Use her assets to pay for her care. Only her assets….not the “family” kicking in money.

        After assets are spent down she can apply for Medicaid. The only glitch is that house….but an attorney can figure that out.

        I work in elder care.

        I always tell families NOT to use their $$ to help with care. Good luck

        #86778 Reply

          Essentially, yes, spend down to qualify for Medicaid. It may be worth speaking to estate planning attorney on any resources or allocations which can be used to help support the daughter with developmental delays.

          B.T.W. Don’t forget to take a look at: What are some tips/advice to note, when choosing a public healthcare plan on ACA?

          #86779 Reply

            Not sure if this works for all situations but my family worked with an elder law attorney to qualify my father for a pooled trust and special needs trust which legally allowed him to qualify for medicaid and keep his assets in trust.

            He has in home aids that are covered by Medicaid.

            #86780 Reply

              Here’s the thing that people aren’t telling you. If you get help, she will very likely have to move from that particular nursing home into one that qualifies that is cheaper. Which might not necessarily be the best thing for her.

              I think you as a family have to figure out what’s more important…

              The government helping to cover the difference and possibly having her in a not so good facility or everyone pitching in and keeping her where she is.

              #86781 Reply

                She needs to move to a home that is less than $5600 a month, for starters. Because of her income (pension and SS), she will NEVER qualify for Medicaid.

                #86782 Reply

                  Unfortunately, you have to drain down all her assets down to about 2k and then she’ll qualify.

                  #86783 Reply

                    Yes, spend down everything and then reapply for Medicaid.

                    There’s a chance the house would need to be sold but likely not if a dependent family member needs to continue to live in it. There’s several factors that go into that decision but Medicaid explains it all.

                    Sounds like you have a little while before you can start that process.

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