Can nursing home care be retroactively reimbursed?

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I was 59 when I was sent from a hospital to a nursing home. During the first two months here, I paid over $22,000 out-of-pocket. I did not become eligible for Medicaid or SSI until March 2011. Are the 2 months I paid out-of-pocket retroactively reimbursable to me? I was told since my assets exceeded $2,000, I would not be eligible to re-coup this money, even though I transferred from a hospital to a nursing home. Needless to say, ALL of my assets and cash are GONE. Sign me confused.

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Expert Answer
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I'm afraid what you are told is right. People are generally required to pay their own nursing home costs until they are eligible for Medicaid. Since you are now on Medicaid, you could call and ask for another opinion or a hearing, but most likely you will be held accountable for the cost, as Medicaid and SSI are needs based.
Please do check with Medicaid again - a different number, maybe through the national website at www.medicare.gov. You'll probably hear the same thing, but you may feel better with a second opinion. You could consult an elder law attorney. One session will cost you but you would get a legal opinion which I certainly can't give you.
Take care,
Carol

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