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If husband has to live in a memory care facility on medicaid does medicaid take his social security and retirement as well as having to spend down his savings to $2000? Am i right that he gets to keep 2000? Does wife get to keep any of the savings? Thanks for the help.

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The Medicaid income rule for married couples where one is in a nursing facility and the other is at home is as follows: The "at-home" (or "Community") spouse is entitled under Federal law to a MINIMUM of $1,891 per month, which may be increased--if needed to pay shelter costs--up to $2,898. So even if ALL the income from Social Security and pension is initially paid to the nursing home spouse, Medicaid will permit the at-home spouse to retain the first $1,891 of such income, with the balance going to the nursing home. Because the rules can get complex, I have devoted an entire chapter in my Medicaid Secrets book to this topic.
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DrChris - no one is making one apply for Medicaid. If you don't want to comply with the regulations you can either take care of your elder at your home; or family and the resident can private pay for their stay in skilled nursing facility; or they can pay for whatever services from their savings, retirement, SS or other income and stay at home to do this. Medicaid is assistance for those who are "at-need" which means in the US to be impoverished and without any income to pay for medically required skilled nursing care. If folks were able to deplete their parents financials tomorrow and they spend all their funds today and then totally qualify for care, the system in the US would collapse and there would be no program at all. It is not an ideal system by any means but compliance with the income & asset limit is needed to have any program at all.

Realistically if they live long enough, they will run out of funds unless they are generationally wealthy or do significant planning a decade ahead. Everyday I am so thankful that both Medicare and Medicaid exist and are available for those who qualify.
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The best money I ever spent was on an attorney who specialized in Medicaid for the state my parents lived in. I talked to her over the phone and she sent me quite a bit of information. Then I hired an elder attorney that dealt with the house issues and trust issues.
If you know what is ahead of you and are prepared it makes things so much easier. The $250 I spent on the Medicaid attorney saved me a ton of hassles when it came time to file for Medicaid for my father. Now that he is passed I will now be dealing with filing for my mother the beginning of next year.
I like knowing what is ahead and not guessing.
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You know, Dr. Chris, as a taxpayer - AND a caregiver for my elderly parents, I believe the elderly SHOULD deplete all of their resources before expecting the TAXPAYERS to pay for their nursing home care. It's ridiculous for a person to expect that THEIR money will be left to their children, so the TAXPAYERS - complete strangers - should have to pay outrageous amounts for their care.

My parents worked very hard all of their lives to provide for their family. They had a bunch of kids, which is expensive, and my mom stayed at home with us. They put ALL of us through college, and we ALL had the opportunity for productive lives. Now we are giving back to them by caring for them in their home until such time as we can no longer do it. This is not easy, and it is definitely a hardship as none of us live near our folks. But we leave our homes for weeks at a time to help Mom & Dad.

Mom & Dad don't have much, but I expect that by the time they finally pass, it will be gone. We will have to sell the house to pay for their care. We will have to cash in the bonds to pay for their care. And so on. But we SHOULD! It is ridiculous to make someone a burden on the taxpayers if they have resources of their own. When my mother insists that we should inherit her money, I tell her that it will be used for her (and Dad's) care first, and IF there is anything left, we will share it. Bad enough that Medicare has to pick up the tab for so much. we are grateful to have Medicare, but we know that comes out of our pockets as well.
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Check with the state. Each state handles its own Medicaid program. Where my mom is, she had to spend down her money by paying her nursing home bill before we could reapply for Medicaid. She had to get below $10,000. She had no other assets. Her Soc. Sec. and pension has to go to the nursing home, sort of as a copay. She gets $40 a month out of that. The rest goes to the nursing home. Medicaid pays the rest. It's a little more complicated if there is a spouse. It would be helpful to contact an elder lawyer.
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I live in Massachusetts and each state is different. My Dad is in a nursing home and my Mom is in housing of the elderly with her own apartment. I hired a lawyer as their finances were all over the place. My Dad can have $2,000 at any given time in his own account. My mother was allowed to keep all of her savings, life insurance etc thanks to the lawyer. She also receives his medicare amount and two retirement amounts. If you can afford a lawyer it was well worth paying them. I do know a lot of people do apply for medicaid on there own but it was way over my head. Good luck!
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I live in Massachusetts as well and right now both of my parents are in a nursing home where they do not want to be I am in there home, a guardian and conservator was placed over them because needless to say Elder Services made up all kinds of Lies about me. right now I am at risk of being tossed out onto the streets , my vehicle sold because it is in my fathers name , my father losing all of his military benefits he is a WWII Vet all because the nursing home says he now has a primary physician there and in order to keep your VA Benefits you can only be seen by the VA .. This Guardian has not been paying the bills correctly , the auto loan is constantly late, the house was in pre foreclosure , my mothers social security checks are going into an account that does not even have her name anywhere on it. I was told I am not to discuss anything pertaining to my parents fiances or there bills or how the guardian is handling all of there things or I would be breaking a court order .. but the glourious state of Massachusetts is all about Medicaid and Mass health and taking everything you own and have worked your life off for just so they can kill off the elderly and line their pockets and as well sleep ever so soundly at night .. I wish I could find someone to help me with all of this but every avenue I have looked into has turned me down. It is so nice not to matter at all when you are your parents only child and they did not write out a will
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The government does not want to impoverish the family of people going into nursing homes. There will be division of the resources. This includes household income and savings. I do not know how the resources are divided, but your state Medicaid people will know. The state will not be interested in leaving you homeless. You won't be wealthy, but you should be able to continue your life if your husband has to go into the facility.
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In general, the function of Medicaid is to take people who have worked hard all their lives to put away some money, and reduce them to abject poverty before offering any help.
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You should see how nice things were before Medicaid!
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