medicaid for seniors question

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Hypothetical case: Senior Mrs. X inherited a lot of money. She spent it all helping her grandkids (rent, utilities, hospital bills, gas, lawyers, fines, etc.). She is old and needs to go to the home but has no money.

    I know that indigent people have their nursing home care paid for. Here, in our small community, nobody even knows for sure who is paying and who is paid for. Same rooms, same care, same food, etc.

    To qualify to get help, how far back do they check your finances to see what you did with your money? If it is all gone, what happens? Grandkids are on services themselves, own no property worth anything, etc. Does the old person just go live in the park? Do kids and grandkids get billed and are expected to rob a bank or whatever to pay the bill? What happens in a case like that?
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    I think they only go back one or two years. Don't know what happens if they determine it was "squandered", but I think they are more looking for it being *hidden*. If Senior Mrs X bought everyone houses or cars or other large such items, then SS would 'claim' those items somehow. Money spent on food, clothing, services - even for other family members - is not considered *hiding*. Poor planning, but not *hiding*.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Five years ago or so I helped an elderly lady who faced that issue. At that time I think it was two or three years and the point (as I understood it) was to make sure that valuables weren't stashed or "protected" for future access. The key point is to be truthful. If she's not hiding anything I don't think she can get into trouble. If she misrepresents the truth...that's another story.

    The nursing homes are experts. If you locate an appropriate placement call and make an appointment to meet with their financial person. My friend, by the way, had some funds from the sale of her house. She entered the nursing home and paid X each month until her money ran out. They were very discreet and there was no difference in her care at all once she made the transition from private pay to government pay. Good luck. DDD
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    We did this with my Mom in both PA and CT, both within the last two years...I know a few things about the elderly and medicaid. First, depending on the state, they may go back as far as 5 years. In PA, they went back 4, in CT, also four, but that's mainly because CT came second, so I already had the papers in order. They look at tax returns and/or 1099's from Medicare, pension, annuity, and social security income. They look into any owned realty and check to see if there were any MAJOR transactions that would show the applicant has transferred ownership or is trying to hide money. If it's a several transactions monthly or over a specific period of time, they will want copies of those checks. For example, my sister wrote herself a check for $600 monthly after my mom moved in with her which she used to pay the lady who came to sit with my mom during the day (my sibs and I covered the remaining $600 monthly). They wanted to see copies of all checks over $500 in both PA & CT. Each state varies, but for most part, applying for Medicaid for the elderly is the same or similar process that everyone else does for any kind of welfare. I suggest that you meet with the social worker/admissions director at the home of your choice and find out all the nitty gritty details. Another thing I found out is that if an elderly person has no family able to take them in and they are basically living on SS. They pretty much can't turn them away. Now, keep in mind, that person may not get the home of her choice, but she'd get in somewhere. Do a little research for your state-there are state a private sites that do inspections and post the results for choosy people. Also, you may find that ALL of these places have or have had violations-DO NOT RULE THEM OUT because the description or circumstances for those violations can be very broad. Visiting is the best way to find out the feel and condition of any place. If they have a lobby, ask for a tour. Often, the lobbies are lovely and once you pass through the doors, the stench can knock you over or you will immediately notice they are terribly understaffed. If you're waiting for more than five minutes without a greeting, leave. Arrive unannounced and ask to speak with someone from admissions or simply ask if anyone's available to show you around. Ask to see the rec calendar, ask to see the kitchen and dining area, ask to see the rooms, physical therapy and rec rooms. I'm on my iPad, so I know my format is difficult to read, I'm sorry. But if you want more info, PM me and I'll give you my cell. Happy to help.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Here it is 3 years but basically if she has no money now what they do is look to see what happened to that money and see if someone actually abused her trust. This basically is why my mom lived with me as long as she did and wasnt on medicaid and just on medicare for as long as she was. She came to me with a bit of money so I had to spend her down until she was eligible for medicaid. We sold her trailer when she came to live with me and because of that I had to quit my job so her money basically helped me to cover some of the costs but no where near what I lost in my income!

    I cant remember exactly how much it is that the formula is but you multiply and divide and get the months that are ineligible. Its like 45k divided by 1800 = so many months. That is when I put in for my moms medicaid. When she ran out of money. I didnt have to tell them what I did with her money, I just told them she didnt have any. When she had no more, I just put in for it.

    Does that make any sense. I knew that eventually she wasnt going to be with me so I just spent her down until she had no more money and then when she had none, I applied.
  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I know that it's three years with a lot of things, or at least it used to be. My mother was an invalid when my dad died - they had been living here in Tennessee and we were still in Florida. We moved to Tennessee to take care of my mom since she couldn't live by herself. She really didn't have much, just the house and land in her name and she didn't have a will. My dad died without a will either and it was a real mess. We contacted an attorney to have a will written up for her and while we were there he suggested transferring the house in to my name since we had lived there with the kids for several years and the house was going to me anyway. Had she had a lot of medical bills or had to go into a nursing home, the house would have had to be sold to pay bills if it was still in her name. BUT ... if that happened within three years of transferring the property, it wouldn't be valid. You can't just get sick and then transfer all your property to a relative. About four years later she did get cancer and died after spending several months in a nursing home but we didn't lose the house. Technically I did not 'inherit' the house, ownership was transferred to me four years before she died.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    exactly donna...I have to worry about transferring my house...little though it is. Im on medicaid and it would be considered transferring assets. Actually, I can do it now but if I do it much later in life, it will be a problem.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    That post reminded me that my neighbor was told and I was told that if she still owned her home that the property was not included in figuring out her worth. Probably if you go on the internet for general info for your State you will find the criteria. Good luck. DDD
  9. keista

    keista New Member

    DDD, It's not included for regular medicaid, but if you need to go into a nursing home, then it is - slightly different criteria.
  10. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    As far as I know its 5 years. My mother had to pay for assisted living out of her savings, supposedly after her money was gone, they would just take her SS check and give her a few dollars out of it per month for Xtras.

    If she goes into a convalescent home, I think SS will pay out IF she has no assets, and they will check to make sure she doesn't. They will take her life insurance, any property, home, annuity. I think they allow you to use money for burial expenses though. So if she is going to distribute any money/property make sure it is done prior to that 5 year time line.

    Check out the website - I gleaned a lot of information on elderly parents on there.

  11. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Marcie, that's how it was with my mom too when she went in to the nursing home. She had no savings, not much of anything really and the house was already in my name. She got three checks each month - social security, a portion of my dad's Air Force pension, and a small civil service pension check from the job my dad had after he retired. When she went in to the nursing home, all three of her checks went directly to the home.