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My mother-in-law moved in with us 4 years ago. I assume once her funds have been depleted she would be eligible for Medicaid. Is there any concern that the government or the nursing home would try to recover money spent by coming after our savings.

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Although the filial responsibility laws have been on the books for years in a number of states (see other answers posted here), they have only been enforced in a very few cases in a very few states, and only recently.
In any event, they do not appear to affect Medicaid eligibility, which looks only to the resources of the applicant (and spouse, if any), and never the children.

The bottom line is that if your mother-in-law simply spent down her money and now qualifies for Medicaid, then you personally have nothing to worry about: the state cannot and will not come after your personal assets now or at any future time.
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No.

If MIL spent money by giving it away, for example, there may be a penalty period concerning when Medicaid coverage could start. Medicaid does not go after anyone's savings.
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Except that it did happen to that man in Pennsylvania. I believe that the NH went after him and got a judgment for $93,000. It never hurts to talk to an elder care lawyer. Also, make sure that you NEVER sign anything using your own name. That could make you responsible.
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Medicaid looks back 5 years. If you established joint accounts with her in that time or she sold her house and gave you part of the proceeds, there will be a penalty. Print out her bank records for the last five years and make sure you know where every penny went.
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The answer to your question is "Yes". You should be concerned about the exposure of your savings o government or nursing home attempts to recover funds spent on your mother-in-laws care.

The answer is much more complicated than a simple "yes" or "no" because there exists several routes for this hidden liability to spring itself on you. One issue as mentioned in previous answers is Medicaid's transfer penalty. Is your MIL chose to reduce her assets by giving them away or selling them for less than fair market value, the Medicaid agency in your state will assess a penalty. The penalty is a delay on the onset of benefits.

A second lurking problem is known as "estate recovery". At your MIL's death the state has a right to recovery from her estate the amounts spent on her behalf.

The third and more onerous exposure comes from "filial responsibility" laws. Roughly 20 states have such laws on books. The laws potentially make children responsible for their parent's nursing home bills. I know of two cases, one in Philadelphia, the other in North Dakota where adult children were held liable. Federal and state budget woes will continue to place pressure on Medicaid nursing home reimbursement. Governments that have these ancient laws on the books could well dust them off to help staunch the flow of red ink.

Medicaid rules are hopelessly complicated. If you expect a family member will need nursing home care and don't wish to jeopardize your life savings, a competent elder law attorney can be worth his or her weight in gold.
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Filial Responsibility: VERY IMPORTANT STUFF ! !

Folliwing the PA case awarding $93,000 to and nursing home to be paid by and then his mother had the services, The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care did some research and issues to report. This report includes the names of the states that currently have filial responsibility laws in place.

Go to "TheConsumerVoice.org"

When you arrived at their homepage, type "filial responsibility" in the search bar at the top right.

You will get a short memo page which, after reading, in the last sentence, click "hete" for a PDF (Adobe Reader) download of a three page report they prepared after research on this issue.
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The thirty states who currently have filial respon
sibility statutes are: Alaska, Arkansas, Californi
a, Connecticut,
Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Mo
ntana,
Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina,
North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Isl
and,
South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and
West Virginia.
2
42 U.S.C. 1396r(b)(4)
(September 27, 2012)
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What is filial responsibility?
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Filial responsibility is when a law makes the son or daughter responsible for the care of their parent.
Usually, as was the case with that $93,000 judgement, there are extenuating circumstances that came into play and caused a nursing home to enforce filial responsibility. As others have said, a number of states have such laws on the books, but they are rarely used.
Be sure you do not sign anything accepting financial responsibility when admitting your MIL to a nursing home. You may sign as her POA, but not for yourself. If at all possible, have her sign the papers herself.
If your MIL has spent down in a way that complies with Medicaid law (in other words, she didn't 'gift' away or transfer her assets within the look back period in an attempt to hide them), then she should qualify for Medicaid. It can never hurt to consult an elder law attorney. If you can afford it and don't want the paperwork hassle yourselves, you can even hire them to take you through the process.
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Filial: Webster: Of, or pertaining to a son or daughter, also, pertaining to the generation following the parents.
Responsibility: A particular burden of obligation upon one or more persons.
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