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Mom and Dad have $120,000 in liquid assests, a home ($60,000) and truck and a car ( hers $4,000). Dad cannot pay for the nursing home for an extended period. What can he do to get her qualified for Medicaid in Louisiana. How can he find out prior to putting her into the nursing home if she will be covered for Medicaid.

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Should also have said my first post if for the state of Illinois. Again, every state is different so go to medicaid.gov
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Hit submit before I was finished. Please go to medicaid.gov. You will be able to see the minimum and maximum the federal government has set aside that states must follow. Every state is different.
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Please allow me to give you word for word from the SHIP manual. (Senior Health Insurance Program) for 2014
Spousal Impoverishment
This provision protects married individuals from becoming impoverished if their spouse becomes confined to a nursing home.
It allows the "community spouse" at home, to keep a certain amount of income and assets and still qualify the nursing home spouse for Medicaid. (In Illinois the 2014 amount is $2,739 monthly income and resources of $109,560 in resources. The house certain adjoining property , personal items and one car are excluded assets.)
Assets transferred to any party other than a spouse will automatically activate a 36 month wait for Medicaid eligibility. Assets transfers to a trust activate a 60 month waiting period.
If an adult, 55 years or older, is enrolled in a Medicaid long-term care program, the state must recover amounts spent for Medicaid long-term care service from the estate of the Medicaid recipient. This means the state is required to collect costs from assets in the estate including a home. while a surviving spouse may retain and live in the home, the state is permitted to place a lien on the house and collect the money when it is sold.
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Dad should see a lawyer specializing in Elder Law, now. To the extent that things can be arranged to his advantage (legally) the lawyer can advise him how to do that.

If you have money, you are expected to use it for your own care. And couples are treated as a unit. Both of their pensions count toward assets that could be used for Mom. For a couple, applying for Medicaid is too complicated to be a do-it-yourself project. Let a qualified elder law attorney guide you (or guide Dad, actually).
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She goes in as a private pay patient, which will open many doors to better facilities. Many places will start you on private pay and convert to Medicaid when needed. You find a good facility that will help do the financial paperwork. Dad gets to split the assets, he keeps the things in his name. He stays in the house, Medicaid is careful to protect the surviving spouse.
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The point is that you cannot hide money away from Medicaid. If you think you are more than 5 years out from a Medicaid application, then you need to meet with an Elder Lawyer & the bank ASAP to talk about trusts & annuities.

If you are within 5 years of an application, then sorry Charlie, but the application requires a full disclosure of assets and I mean ALL assets - insurance, real property, cash, investments, gifts, the whole ball of wax. You can't gift it away at this point either. Any major changes to funds & assets may cause a penalty period and the delay of Medicaid coverage, during which time you have to find a way to private pay.

I strongly suggest searching this site for "paying for long term care" because there are some great articles on the topic.

If mom & dad had a Long Term Care policy, that will need to be used.

You will need to educate yourself on your state's Medicaid rules via the state DHS website. It is smart to get a copy of the application NOW and see what it's going to ask for, as there is a ton of paperwork to provide for it. The facility where your mom ends up will likely have a Medicaid specialist who will work with you on the application and the timing of its submission.

No, the government doesn't have an interest in impoverishing the spouse, but I can tell you the spousal allowance is not fat and juicy. It will probably not support a lifestyle they're used to. It is very lean.

Medicaid can also pursue cost recovery after the person has died via estate probate, so families are not going to make funds/assets unavailable by designating them for the heirs in the will.
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I am reading that she has $120,000 in cash. Why does she need medicaid? I would explain to dad, that mom was a great partner with him being able to have some assets. But, it is her turn to reap the benefits, now. Perhaps see an elder attorney, to help both of them.
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The state has no interest in leaving your father with nothing. If you qualify for Medicaid, they will look at the resources and divide them between your mother and father in a fair way. He will be able to continue to live in the house and keep his car. He will also be able to keep an income so that he can sustain his own life. If your mother needs to be in a home, then go ahead and apply for Medicaid. They will tell you about what you need to do to spend down. I believe they will consider half of the money belonging to each -- could be wrong here. The main thing is that they will have no interest in putting your father into poverty. I hope the application goes smoothly.
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I meant to say MEDICAID, not medicare!
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You are going to private pay until there is about $2-3,000 of assets left and then you can apply for Medicare. There is no hiding money from Medicare.
That is what they worked for all their lives, and now it's time to use it.
There are allowances for a spouse & spousal residence, but it's not cushy.

We are in the same boat. Mom didn't financially plan for anything, so we are on the spend down to Medicaid. All her money will be gone by the end and there will be not a penny or splinter left for me to inherit. Which is fine. Mo money, mo problems. It wasn't for me anyway.
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