My mother recently got approved for nursing home Medicaid. Can my dad change his beneficiary to someone other than my mom? - AgingCare.com

My mother recently got approved for nursing home Medicaid. Can my dad change his beneficiary to someone other than my mom?

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My dad lives at home. My mother fell and had a brain bleed last year after battling Alzheimer’s for 9 years. We no longer could care for her at home. After 9 months in a nursing home we finally got approved for Medicaid. We had to do a spend down of $1250 in order for her to qualify. We were advised for my dad to open up a separate checking account with just his name on it so he can have his SS check directly deposited to that to keep her from going over the $2000 limit. We have been transferring the auto deductions from their joint account to just his new account. While we were calling these places to change the banking information, (mostly their life insurance ), we got to thinking that maybe we should change his beneficiaries on those policies and take mom’s name off them, which we did. We left her beneficiaries the same, because we were unsure if we could do that legally.
My question is, who gets her life insurance policy money when she passes? Does the money go to the nursing home, or to my dad who is her beneficiary? It’s not much. They probably total less than $10 k. Also, was it okay for us to change his beneficiaries?
Medicaid has her covered, but we pay the Nursing Home about $720/month now from her SS check. My dad was able to keep all his money. Any advice would be appreciated. We live in S.C.
Thank you.

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This is a good question. I would think Dad could change the beneficiary on his policies, they are his. Medicaid should have been made aware of any policies in Moms name. Some policies have where u can cash them in. If Moms do, then Medicare requires them to be cashed in. You can prepay for a funeral the rest goes towards spend down.

My friends Dad was in a NH. His wife remained in the home. The 60k they had in the bank was split, 30k going to his care 30k going to hers. Their wills had been done years before...what is mine is yours. Wife died before the husband. She never changed her will so her 30k went to husband and it went towards his care. Her daughter wondered if her Mom could have changed her will leaving her half to her children or whatever she chose. Anyone know?
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Insurance pays the beneficiary. Dad being her beneficiary gets the $ directly. NH not a factor. Her income payout should not be an issue as it’s his $ not an asset of her Estate.

Dad changed his life insurance policy to new beneficiary & someone other than his wife / your mom, right? If so that imo was a very good move, cause if dad predeceased her and she got the life insurance $, it would take her over the limit for Medicaid income the month received and then for her assets the months afterward. She’d be ineligible for Medicaid......and have to spend down and reapply again. So excellent move to change his beneficiary.

Once she’s on Medicaid she cannot change her legal.
But dad can, is my understanding.

Oh and please make sure that her monthly personal needs allowance gets spent regularly. You don’t want it sitting in the NH trust fund or her checking account (if you’re writing a ck for her copay or SOC - share of cost) and building each month. Remember her assets have to be under the 2k for LTC NH Medicaid. Have mom going weekly to the on site beauty shoppe so it gets spent regularly.

Also if you think that dads income alone isn’t enough to cover his costs to be a community spouse, he can try to get CSRA or MMNA. Community Spouse Resource Allowance, Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance/Assessment. Think of these as kinda like old school alimony for your dad. So if he’s perhaps $500 short for costs to live in his community he can get that $500 from mom’s SS. It’s waived from the $720 required SOC to the NH. So instead she pays the NH $220 and dad gets the $500. Just how these are done depends on your state. I’d suggest you try to buddy up to family of other CS / NH to see if any of their folks are getting CSRA and how they did it. For TXs MMNA (my mom & mil were on TX Medicaid), CS stuff really needed an elder law atty to file for as it was not just a simple math problem. Good Luck. 
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