Mom has dementia. She lives with me and things are ok now but I see her getting worse everyday. I want to be prepared for when I can no longer take care of her. She doesn't qualify for Medicaid. She pays $250 a month for Blue Cross to cover what Medicare doesn't pay. How does everyone pay for long term care? She only gets $1200 a month for Social Security.

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thank you for the information! I will definitely check on the medicaid thing. I never knew
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Reply to mothermother

There are two Medicaid programs- Community and Chronic. One helps with expenses for you to stay in the home. Chronic is for placement in a care facility. In our state, there are different asset and income limits for each program.

Depending on the state you are in, I believe your mother could qualify for Medicaid with an income of $1200 a month - assuming she doesn't have hundred of thousands of dollars in the bank. Even if she makes slightly over the income limits for Medicaid, you can still qualify by spending that extra income on allowable expenses for her care.

To qualify for Medicaid there are limits to the assets you can hold in your own name and limits to the income you may have. If you have too many assets, you need to spend them on allowable expenses until you are under the asset limit. (The allowable expenses will certainly include paying for a nursing home and that is often the best way to obtain placement in a home of higher quality. Enter as a private pay patient.)

There are also ways to reduce the income. They look at the total income and then you can deduct things like Medicare premiums and supplemental health care insurance. It should not be hard to get to the limit for your state if your starting point is $1200.

People on this forum can give you general advice but the rules are slightly different state by state. So your best bet is to speak with the local Department for Aging. We also found that estate planning lawyers in our area give general talks at senior centers and libraries where they will give broad outlines of the rules.

I do not know who has the money. to pay for a multi year stay in a nursing home. It boggles the mind! Who has that much money left in their 80s and 90s? Our loved one's facility costs over $400 a day. Thank goodness for the safety net of Medicaid.
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Reply to anonymous594015

Medicaid long term care. It’s different that Medicaid health insurance. Have she applied for LTC Medicaid? Unless she doesn’t qualify because of the 5 year financial lookback, she will qualify for Medicaid long term care. Her $1200 will go to the facility with Medicaid covering the rest.
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Reply to worriedinCali

There are a lot of articles on AgingCare that discuss the medicaid process:
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Reply to cwillie

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