If Mom's denied Medicaid (for any reason). Am I legally responsible? - AgingCare.com

If Mom's denied Medicaid (for any reason). Am I legally responsible?

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I recently admitted my Mom into a nursing home.
GP--riverhead

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Medicaid has many of their own applications forms. You can only fill out forms to benefit your mom if your are her POA. (Someone else may correct me here please). Be sure you completely READ and understand any form you sign -- don't hesitate to ask for extra time "I need to have my attorney look at these forms before I sign". Best wishes.
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Are you saying that no one gets approved by Medicaid if they fill out their own application? We have to hire an attorney? I am a paralegal, but this is not my expertise, but what is so complicated that I can't do this myself for home healthcare for my Mother.
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Just another thought about signing forms. If you have a good camera on your phone, I wold take a photo of every page I signed. Doesnt hurt to keep a copy of what you signed and how you signed it (especially if you modified it by crossing out lines or omitting checking a box). Don't trust them to give you a copy in the mail......
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Judge nursing homes on their own merits. There are good and bad non-profit homes as there are for-profit homes. Don't confuse the term "non-profit" with the idea of charity. All charitable institutions are non-profit, but not all non-profits are charitable institutions.
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How one signs paperwork is very important--those are some good suggestions; as well as making sure to NOT sign blank forms--that's like writing a blank check to the facility. Some of those are known to try to coerce you to sign blank forms---before you sign, READ it, and put a line or cross-out portions you do not agree to.
IF you are coerced, or feel pressured, to sign papers, you can also add by your signature: "Signed under duress in order to get proper care for my elder".
IF it comes to legal maneuvers, that will clearly tell a judge or lawyer that you were pressured into signing, in order to obtain proper care for your elder.

Elsewhere on this site, others have posted at length about how State recouping their care/support expenses for an elder, differ some from State to State,
but often, they DO try to pursue immediate family for repayment of supports State paid out on an elder, regardless of whether it was done in a facility or at home.
Check with your Welfare office.

These days, Welfare has separated from the Medicaid department, but either the Medicaid dept. or the welfare dept., should be able to answer directly, the questions about whether your State goes after family to repay State for your elder's care.

Keep in mind:
The State wants to avoid causing more people to be welfare recipients by being forced to repay their elder's care-debt to the State--that would cost the state more money in the long run.
OTH, if family has assets they can use to repay the State, without impoverishing them, the State will likely expect to be repaid by that family.
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Watch what paperwork you sign. Do not sign anything making you responsible for any of her medical care. That is not your responsibility. It maybe worded Guarantee of Account. The nursing home has a medicaid specialist that should guide you through the process. It is a long and difficult procedure going through all her banking, assets etc for the last 5 years. I just went through it with my husband. He's out now but out of a $50,000.bill, his responsibility was $500.00. Just remember they cannot refuse her care, do not sign anything to do with money.
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Legally responsible for what? Is she in the Home? If she is, then you had better check your paperwork and and above all......signatures.
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I think I would start by going to Medicare.gov and type in nursing homes to pull up some for your area and see ratings.
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Virginia50, I really took note of your statement to be aware of for-profit homes. Would you happen to know how to quickly find non-profits? Everyone else, thanks for de-mystifying things like signing for another. Our lawyer never gave us these nuts and bolts.
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I must disagree with others who have posted. I do not believe you are legally responsible for your mother's bills of any kind no matter what or how you signed, unless perhaps if you expressly signed something saying you would pay the nursing home. Sure, the nursing home may try to get the money from you, but that doesn't mean you have to pay it. If Mom does go on medicaid, they will take her income and assets, so if you want to contact an elder care lawyer to protect as much as you can, go ahead. If she doesn't get medicaid and can't afford to pay [up to $15.000 a month] they will probably want to discharge her, but a nursing home can't just throw someone out into the street. As noted, medicaid is retroactive so there is no reason to pay the nursing home anything now, and it does take up to three months. I assume the nursing home has helped with the process and you've given them all the documentation they need. Give it time -- there probably won't be a problem. Good luck, and sorry your Mom had to go into a home. I know that nowadays the thinking is to keep people at home as long as possible, but sometimes our elderly loved ones really need more care than we can provide, and not everyone has the time or ability and so on to be a caregiver. Feel no guilt. Best of luck.
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