Mom & Dad own a cooperative apt in NYC. Mom has Alzheimers & will need nursing home care soon. Will Medicare force Dad to sell their apt to fund nursing home care? When he dies/sells apartment then he needs to pay for her care?
Would it make sense to put her in a nursing home & he stay in the coop & when he dies then Medicare submit a claim to the estate?

Should he sell the apartment, divide the proceeds from the sale into accounts with his name and with the name of his children to protects this asset?

I just don't know what to do

What should he do since he has not set up anything?

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Nik - first of all MediCARE doesn't give a ratt's butt about your parents financial situation. MediCARE is an general entitlement that pays primarily for hospitalization and then for doctors costs and other health care services (like PT, OT) and prescriptions.

But MedicAID does. This site has articles on what the difference is between MediCARE and MedicAID and you really need to familiarize yourself with them and what the do & more importantly don't do. If your parents need to go to a skilled nursing facility (NH) or an AL facility (if your state does a waiver program for AL) and they apply for MedicAID to pay for it, then any and all of their non-exempt assets are subject to spend-down or estate recovery. MediAID is an "at-need" program and you have to show the NEED both financially and medically for MedicAID. About 65% of all NH costs in the US are paid by MedicAID.

Because MedicAID is an "at-need" program, there is a 5 year look-back on any & all financial records of the applicant to make sure that there have been no improper transfers done (and transfer penalty done). Real property - like a house, condo or car - is recorded by the local assessor and then dovetails into the state records so any transfer or sale will show up. They are fully expected to use the proceeds from the sale on their care or their needs.

This is why an good elder law attorney will be important to see. There are some things that can be done. Most importantly there are things for the "community spouse" (your dad who is not needing a facility) that can be done for asset protection or to maximize their monthly income. Although Medicaid is a joint federal & state program, each state manages Medicaid on it's own and puts it's own spin on the guidelines. This is especially true in estate recovery as it goes through probate courts so is VERY state law specific. This is another reason why you need to speak with an elder law attorney in your state to get the best done.
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