Mom is moving to El Dorado from another state. How long does she have to be a resident to get Medicaid? -

Mom is moving to El Dorado from another state. How long does she have to be a resident to get Medicaid?


She has Alzheimer's and I need to get her in a nursing home.Also we don't have a power of attorney. Can we still do that sense she has alzheimer's?

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If it is El Dorado, AR, I know a truly excellent and not exorbitant eldercare attorney in LIttle Rock I would recommend to you.
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About Medicare & NH, coverage isn't guaranteed for 100 days. The NH MediCARE benefit is usually when they are discharged from a hospitalization to a NH for "rehab". The "rehab" is done for 3 - 4 weeks and if within that 3 - 4 weeks they do not progress in their rehab, they will get discharged from the Medicare paid for rehab. Medicare stops paying once that happens. So you need to have your elder get up and do and participate with whatever the PT or OT wants them to do. Sometimes they just can't so the Medicare benefit ends.

The first 3 - 4 week period is when you have to start to get your documents together to apply for Medicaid if they are going to need to continue to be in a NH and you cannot private pay or have LTC insurance to pay for the NH. If they continue to qualify for rehab / Medicare, it buys you more time to spend-down assets.

Help - It has been pointed out that there is more than 1 El Dorado (thanks CarolLynn!), so which one are you in?
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It depends on the State in which you reside. First you have to establish residency. Get a new driver's license or photo ID at the state license vehicle department. Have mail sent and get a proof of residency from the post office! And open a bank account in that person's name. When we moved here to MD, I did all that. The age was three years but recently changed to two years at the Veteran's home. But if a person is hospitalized with a serious health problem, they can be sent there right away. My brother-in-law had a heart attack and could not get around by himself after that, so he was sent for "rehab" and then eventually just stayed there. The first 90 days is covered by Medicare. After that you have to start chipping in for the fees (which are high any way you look at it!) He had lived in MD for one year and a month when he had the heart attack. I hope this helps.
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Help - realize that Medicaid is managed or adminstrated by EACH state under an overall federal guideline. It gets $ from the feds and the state. So the states need to provide their services to their residents first and for most. You will need to do whatever to establish mom to be an Arkansas resident. I'd speak with Medicaid to see what needs to happen for your state specifically. Your mom's situation happens all the time.

One thing you are defintely going to need to do is get mom's SS or other retirement into an Arkansas bank with an AR address. If her current bank is big and has branches in Arkansas (even if in Little Rock), then she can change her address to your address in Arkansas easily for the bank.

But if her bank does not have Arkansas locations, it is going to be more difficult. WIth SS and most retirements, the retiree has to do changes themselves - you cannot do it for them. If mom is kinda sketchy in her cognitive abilities in person, the SS office and banks will be reticient to have her do anything as she may come across as incompetent. I'd suggest if that is what is likely to happen then you go to your local bank by yourself in advance and make super nice with a bank officer to see what they suggest. Downplay that mom is demented too. If you're lucky, they will give you the names of a couple of easy to work with attorney's to do the DPOA, MPOA for AR law and then you can open a new account for mom. It would be her solo account but you should be a signature on the account (no ownership) and make it POD to you - that is pay on death to you. This way no after death asset on the account. Then you can go on-line to SS and her retirement account on behalf of your mom (you do this as her) to get her SS & retirement direct deposit to the new AR bank account.

Whatever you do for a NH, make sure that it will accept her as "Medicaid Pending" and that if Medicaid is declined, that the billing will be at the Medicaid rate and NOT their private pay rate. This is critically important as the price difference can be huge and you may have to pay for some days while she is not an AR resident.

Also does mom own a home or a car in her old state? If so, she will denied Medicaid in AR. Although their home or car is an exempt asset, it is exempt only for the state where the property is located. The care you can transfer to AR but the house, well, you are screwed there. It will be a non-exempt asset and have to be sold with the proceeds from the sale used for her spend-down. So if this is your mom's situation, you have to sell the house. But if mom doesn't have a house, then every day when you are dealing with the maddening Medicaid maze and think this is just so loco, you can be grateful that you didn't have a house to deal with too. Good luck and keep a sense of humor in all this, you'll need it.
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