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Legal Question re: Medicaid

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Old 10-25-2006, 05:25 AM   #1
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Legal Question re: Medicaid

Hi, I heard on TV on a lawyer program that there is only a one month lookback for a Home Health Care person to come into the home instead of the 3-5 year lookback for a nursing home. I went to an elder lawyer three years ago with my parents (Dad is 90, mom is 85 with early alz) and set up DPOA, Health Care Proxy, Wills for each and a Living Estate for their home which is all paid up. My parents have CDs in trust for all three children but in their names; a checking account with just me and my dad on; and savings and checking account with just mom and dad.

Does anyone have info on Medicaid? Do I need to go back to the lawyer and do you think a phone conversation would suffice (paying of course).


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Old 10-25-2006, 01:41 PM   #2
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Re: Legal Question re: Medicaid

It's best to ask a lawyer because the rules are different in the various states. We had to pay for Mom's home health aide ourselves. At the time she had more money in the bank than the maximum. Yet I understand that Medicare (all persons over 65 ought to be on it, if in the USA) pays for some home health care - maybe a couple of days a week. We needed five day coverage.



Old 10-30-2006, 05:37 PM   #3
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Re: Legal Question re: Medicaid

If my dad goes into nursing home, then all marital assets must be split and dad's share goes to the nursing home along with his monthly SS payment. Doesn't seem fair because say my dad and mom have $500,000 (that figure is off the top of my head) in assets and someone else only as $25 to their name, they both can get into nursing home under different benefits, and receive the same care. Could dad cash in some of his CDs and keep the cash or would he be found out in the look-back process? He is a poor planner, didn't really look out for us kids in the event he or mom go into long term nursing care.

Old 10-31-2006, 03:26 AM   #4
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Re: Legal Question re: Medicaid

Dear Gwenny,

The rules vary in different states. Mom lives in NY and there the rule was, pay for the NH out of your own money until you have only $2,100 left. After that the NH takes your whole social security check minus a small pocket allowance for haircuts etc.

Mom's bank accounts were scrutinized going back 5 years. There would not have been a way to cash in CDs and hide that money. But maybe an Elderlawyer can give you some ideas. One thing our lawyer suggested was that we use Mom's money to pre pay her funeral. So we planned a very elaborate funeral costing $11,000 and that was allowed to be paid out of her own assetts. The lawyer's fee also came out of her assetts. She had little money to start with (never owned a home) and it took only 3 months at the Nursing Home to spend down the rest of her life's savings. I am happy that she is getting the same loving care now, as a Medicaid patient, as she did paying 10,000 a month for the first 3 months of this year.

In your Dad's case, since he is quite well off, it may be easier to use his own money for his care and never apply for Medicaid. Then he can give away some of it to the family, without that money ever being taken back. Most people in the late stages of Dementia, the time you really need nursing home care , do not live much over a year.

I suggest you consult a lawyer specialising in the problems of the elderly.



Last edited by Martha H; 10-31-2006 at 04:40 AM.

Old 11-01-2006, 07:47 AM   #5
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Re: Legal Question re: Medicaid

Hi, the older generation were always told to 'save for a rainy day'.... but then they don't recognize that rainy day when it arrives, and don't want to spend any of their savings. Medicare covers up to 100 days of nursing home services only under certain conditions. Medicaid is what covers the bulk of nursing home care for people who are unable to pay the cost privately. As each state has its own Medicaid guidelines, I'd suggest searching the web for state websites that explain them. My own state has a long description that is written for family members to explain-- for free!-- a lot of the information you are seeking. If the attorney you are seeking doesn't deal with this issue all the time, you can also look into talking with a social worker or senior case manager who specializes in helping people at this time of life. You can also contact your public assistance office and ask them how they count certain resources and how they are spent down.
Good luck!

Last edited by AliceJane; 11-01-2006 at 07:56 AM.

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