How do I work out with the nursing home my mother's financial problems?

Follow
Share

My mother has Alz's Disease and has been placed in skilled nursing home care in memory care unit. Last month I got info. that Medicaid for her had been approved and would be paying for her care (Medicare stopped paying after 100 days). Then I got an email (I am deaf) from Business Office at that nursing home that I owed them $3361.00 (from her own SS checks which I had been in charge of). I emailed back in reply that Medicare and Plan D for Prescription drugs (UnitedHealth) amounts were already deducted from her SS checks totally $552.00 that should be deducted from 3361.00 as Medicare/Plan D would pay back. That I had to pay Mom's attorney 925.00 for lawsuit that her stepson filed against her to take her Life Estate. Her house was finally turned over to her stepson last August 19th. I had to pay expenses for her house before turning it over like property assoc. fees, taxes, electricity plus movers to move her stuff from her house to my place. But that lady at Business Office at nursing home replied back that it was not their responsibilities, that I am expected to pay that much amount. Mom has only approx. 600.00 left. Her SS check amt. is small. I just don't have money to pay them. Plus I realized that 57.60 has been taken out of her SS checks automatically for insurance for her car which I will go and cancel it tomorrow. I will appreciate any help I can get out of paying that much that they want which I do not have that much money without neglecting my rent, electricity, bills, etc. I get SSDI checks each month which isn't much. Thank you in advance. (Mom has a 10 yr old car which still runs good. My own car doesn't run even though I paid 945.00 last year to get it fixed.) My siblings live out of state and don't help with Mom's care so I have been doing this for 3 years now. I took care of Mom in my house for 2 and half years. Also her nursing home is 35 min. drive away, is too far for me. There are two good nursing homes very close by, but she's on their waiting list. Perhaps I should take her out and take care of her again until the one close by opens (one is excellent and is 5 min. away). Any advice?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
22

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
Just a comment to throw out there. I know this won't help with your outstanding bill. But have you considered Hospice for your mom? My mother is at home with late stage dementia and is on Hospice. Moms meds are all covered through Hospice along with her supplies. This has helped so much because my mother doesn't qualify for government help. But my point is that Hospice is just not for patients at home. Alot of Hospice patients are in fact in a nursing home. I am not sure how that works though, Hospice doesn't pay for room and board but pays for Nurses and aides, medications and supplies. So in turn that could help with future bills if any. But talk to the staff.
Another thing, I had a friend that placed her father in a personal care home. His income wasn't able to pay the full amount each month. He didn't qualify for medicaid for the first year there. So my friend volunteered so many hours each week at the home to makeup the difference. She did simple things like help with laundry, serve meals, tidy rooms up etc... So maybe that could be something to ask about.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks, coach, I understand. It's true that I've been hearing about them wanting to slash Medicaid in many states. Ok, I won't begrudge them anymore. Cheers
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Bryn, Don't blame the nursing home or begrudge them for trying to be profitable. On average a nursing home makes about $.03 per dollar of income. Taking care of our frail elderly is a very expensive proposition. Today nursing homes are being faced with more and more demands to improve the quality of the care that is provided and in most states are taking care of a much more acutely ill individual. Many sates are slashing medicaid reimbursement to help balance their budgets, but at the same time the Federal government is looking to slash12 to 16% from nursing home reimbursement. Nursing Homes are only trying to work within the framework the government has forced them into.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Both for-profit and nonprofit facilities have to ask "how will we be paid?" before they accept someone. Very few working class people have enough money/assets to pay for their own care indefinitely. Perhaps if you are 98 and you only have enough money to pay for 2 years of care, that is satisfactory. But if you are 78 and you only have assets that will see you through 4 years, the facility is going to need to know what comes next. For many people, what comes next is Medicaid. Because Medicaid has caps on what it will pay for given services, the facility is not going to be taking in as much when that happens. For this reason, many long term care facilities just do not accept Medicaid. Others will accept it only for residents that have private pay for so many years first.

My mother's total income, at age 91, is $850/month. That is it. No savings. No life insurance when Dad died. No 401K, no equity in a house. She had no trouble qualifying for Medicaid. So far that is helping with the few medications she takes, and doctor/hospital bills. She is still living independently in her senior apartment. If/when she does need long term care placement, she will need to find a place that accepts Medicaid; she will not be able to private-pay even a few months. Meanwhile, Medicaid and her county are providing services to keep her home as long as safe and practical. My mother is "poor" by the definition Medicaid uses. Fortunately your mother was not. But she probably would have met the definition if she had needed long-term care for many years. Most of us would. A perfect system? Hardly! Out to victimize those that need it? I don't think so.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you, igloo and coach for taking your time to explain things to me. I am now understanding the whole thing much better. I will get back to you for updates.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Mom has Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield supplement that are paid every month. They won't pay for nursing homes after 100 days so when Medicare stops, Medicaid takes over. Funny system, isn't it? Medicare will stop taking out funds from Mom's SS. I took care of Mom in my home for nearly 2 and half years until her Alz's D got worse, she became a wanderer, tried to go outside, falling down. Due to my being deaf I nearly had no sleep keeping an eye on her, had no other help. That was before I found this site. I'd LOVE to take Mom back home instead of having to deal with nasty nursing homes that want profits. Many of them used to be "non-profit".
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Jeanne, you are probably right. My MIL had a teacher's retirement and SSDI, which was quite a bit of money. The nursing home wanted to take her, get $6,000 per month from her income, then her savings, then the principle on her 401K, and then the equity on our house. The program, like so many government programs, was intended to help the underfunded. The people who twist the system into something it was never meant to be so they can make money off it are the real problem. We were lucky that my MIL could stay with us under our care until she died. But we did feel that the hospitals and care facilities were trying to rake in all of her money that they could get their hands on, and they offered Medicaid as one way to help them help us help them.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Well, close, but not quite, JonathninOregon. Since Medicaid is a needs-based system, there is an upper limit on how much you can have in assets and qualify. If you have more than that, Medicaid does not take it to offset the costs of care. Rather they allow you spend down to the limit you are allowed. You can spend this on consumer debt, a delux wheelchair, repairs to your home, a new wardrobe, a prepaid funeral plan -- lots of ways to use your own money. You cannot give it away, because if you don't need it for other things, then you are expected to spend it on your care. Taxpayers aren't expected to subsidize your legacy to your children or gifts to others. The cap on assets impacts a spouse, but not children. You do not have to be broke before your mother will qualify. The home is exempt from being included as an asset, but by the same reasoning that doesn't want taxpayers to support legacies to heirs, the proceeds from sale of the house can be used to pay back Medicaid for expenses it paid.

I am glad for you that your mother was too wealthy to qualify for Medicaid, and that you were able to meet her needs in your home. That really is the ideal situation, isn't it? For the many, many people who do not have the ideal situation, Medicaid is a rescuer, not a victimizer.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

As I understand it, here's how Medicaid works. First, it takes all of your mother's assets to offset the cost of her care. Then it empties your bank accounts and puts a lien on your house to pay for yor mother's care. Then, after you and your mother are both broke, the American Taxpayer will cover the rest of the costs associated with your mother's care. Medicaid sounds great until you get plugged into it. My MIL opted to die in our home rather than bankrupt her legacy to my wife. It was hard, but she successfully avoided falling victim to Medicaid. Good Luck. God Bless You.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Your Mom was admitted to the Nursing Home on April 24th. Under Medicare your Mom was entitled to 100 days of care as long as she required what Medicare deems as skilled care. She apparently received her 100 days of Medicare and exhausted her Medicare benefit on August 1st. As she obviously did not have the funds to pay privately the nursing home put her in a Medicaid Pending category while they waited on the Medicaid approval. It is customary for the nursing to request a prorated amount of her Social Security check. In this case it would have been prorated less one day. How did you think the Nursing Home was going to be paid for the month of August for caring for your Mom as you already stated you had anticipated Medicaid approval as of September 1? I am sure the Office Manager attempted to explain this to you as she seems to be very aggressive when it comes to collecting money. Which is her job. I think the problem here is a lack of communication. The nursing home, under ADA, should have used the services of an interpreter to communicate with you. The nursing home accepted that responsibility when they agreed to admit your mother. They should also use the interpreter during mandatory care plan meetings. Of course you will be responsible for letting the nursing home know when you plan to be there to discuss your Mom's bill or her care or any other time you would like a formal meeting. I would say that you should provide no less than 48 hours notice. If you don't provide this notice, you should not expect an interpreter to be present. Remember the Nursing Home is going to be paying this interpreter $60.00 to $80.00 an hour. Most services require a 2 hour minimum once scheduled and have to be paid if you show up or not. They don't come cheap so please don't abuse this service.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions