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My dad needs to go into nursing home in NC he gets about 3,500 from his pension a month , he also has a 15,000 life insurance policy from AARP can the nh take his indurance policy 15,000 life insurance AARP

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I know in Kansas medicade does not allow payments for insurance and policy has to be cashed in and used towards care. Doesn't sound like this is a medicade issue however.
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If it is term life with no cash value there is no reason to take it from him. It is not the NH that takes it, it would be NC Medicaid rules. Read the policy and see what type it is.
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Check w/ NC SHIP office. www.seniorsresourceguide.com/directories/National/SHIP/
If his pension and social security cover the cost of care, his life insurance will be payable as written. If the $3500/mo is all he has and that is not enough for the cost of care and Medicaid pays even a fraction of his costs, there could be a lien at death to recover that cost to the state. Could he stay in a board and care? The lower cost could maybe be covered by his pension.
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Nursing homes costs about $70,000 to $80,000 a year to care for a single patient every year (not a private room either). Despite the high amount, many receive very poor care, prone to infection from the other inmates, and abuse. My understanding of medicaid is that they seize the entire family estate (except the home, which they can get after the person dies)--in my State you have to "spend down" for the cost of his care to some ridiculously low amount of money -- you are only allowed to spend it on the cost of his care, or invest in home repairs/rennovations, funeral costs, and or a buy a new car (which most likely he won't be able to drive). They have a five year look back law, so you can't transfer the estate monies to your account without Medicaid penalizing (they will not allow the person into a nursing home until that amount is used up equivalent to being in a nursing home, something like that--it's horribly complicated). Medicare will NOT pay for long term care -- the person has to be in the hospital for 3 days, and Medicare will only pay for 100 days in a nursing home for rehab. Anyway, once the money is "spent down" (and PLEASE see an eldercare attorney about this because it has to be done right), he will be eligible for Medicaid. The nursing home will seize his entire income for cost of his care. This does not relieve the stress for caregivers, however. You MUST visit very frequently - even daily - otherwise your loved one will be more prone to abuse and neglect. $3,500 a month you should be able to very nice assisted living facility. If he's ABLE, I would check into assisted living and try to stay off of Medicaid like the plague.
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My husband is in the same situation. I took out life insurance on him about 30 years ago and am still paying on that policy. It is now worth about $120,000 if he dies. If he has to go into a home, they will take everything, including the policy worth only about $40,000 if you cash it in. I don't want to do this because I own my own home. They can't take away your home or your car. They can take a second home or a second car. If I spend down to $2000, the allotted amount to have in the bank, I won't even be able to pay my taxes on the house. I just don't understand it all. I will have to contact a lawyer if it comes to that. And I don't know how I will pay him! I live in MD. God help us. We do all the caregiving and we don't have enough to live on. It just stinks.
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wamnanealz I am also in MD and spend sleepless nights worrying about if my husband has to end up in a NH with his dementia. I am also concerned about how I would possibly pay the taxes on my house and other expenses as I would only have enough money from SS and his pension to just get by on.
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Please contact an eldercare attorney. Medicaid has no interest in impoverished the spouse who still lives in the community. You are able to keep something around 100,000 as the community spouse. Find a lawyer who will do a free half hour consult and see if you find his advice worthwhile to invest in
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Kallen: Are you absolutely sure that your Dad has to go into nursing home? I'm sure that you've checked out all other options, including the three-shift nursing home care. ( less expensive than a N H)..
If all other options have closed, and you have no choice but to send him into a N H, then that's it. They will send you a bill. How you pay it is up to you.
Medicaid, the state-supported program, can offer assistance, but their rules are horrific. These rules have been discussed here many times by different caregivers in different states. You may want to read Gabriel Heiser's book on Medicaid before you do anything.
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Babalou is right - get an eldercare consultation ASAP and find out what is really at risk and what isn't, and find out if there is anything you need to be doing to protect what you legally can. Life insurance policies with face value are countable assets and may have to be cashed in, but proceeds when the person dies are typically exempt from estate recovery in most cases. Community spouse provisions may not be really great but are supposed to allow you to live in your own home as long as you are able. They are not set up to allow for children to have an inheritance rather than Medicaid being repaid for providing for care expenses though, and by the time Medicaid application may be needed, it is usually too late to do anything to change that. Get help to look at real options, with someone who clearly knows local resources and state Medicaid rules.
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If your life insurance policy is $100,000 or over, you can sell it on the secondary market, just like a house. The insurance company will give you what you have in it (nothing if a term policy) but we can get you up to 7 times more. Any resource that can help you make better decisions about care is vital. Interesting enough, most lawyers don' t even know every option. Do your homework - longtermcare.gov can offer some resources including Aid & Attendance, and life settlements. These do not cost you a penny to receive.
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If a spouse is living in the home, that person can stay there. It then sells after the surviving member dies. But realistically a couple could be in the same NH and both on Medicaid.

I like the idea of prepaying your funeral costs, so someone else isn't out $10,000.

I am 61, but my mother is 96 and my MIL is 91. They are both in very nice facilities.
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All wonderful suggestions so far, elder law attorney is the place to start. Also is 24-hour care at home an option. NH are wonderful places, but the staffing ratios are difficult.
Contact or look up http://www.lifecarefunding.com they can convert life insurance equity to dollars to be used for care. That said still an elder law attorney to make sure that is the prudent thing to do.
Also if he is a veteran, might be beneficial to investigate the aid and attendance benefit.
All of this stems on the level of care needed and is a nursing home the only option. Sometimes the classic definition of nursing home is not what he needs. Assisted living communities can offer varying levels of care as his needs change.
Good luck.
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THERE IS A SOLUTION: that eliminates the situation of Medicaid Penalty, Medicaid Denial, or Medicaid Recovery due to having a life insurance policy.

This is very tied to the ongoing discussion here.

ANY life insurance policy providing it has not lapsed, (even term, group, whole, or universal), can be converted into payments to the Assisted Living, or Nursing Home, (Care provider), and is considered A VALID MEDICAID Spend down! (If the FACE Value is over $50,000 it can be considered)!

Avoid letting the policy lapse because the family or the owner cannot afford to pay for the policy, and care at the same time. Don't waste that 'investment' because you think Medicaid will take it after death. If you do the Insurance company is the only benefiting party

Also policies with a cash value can be converted to a FUNERAL TRUST, (another MEDICAID APPROVED spend down), even towards family members!

The trust proceeds are then portable, and are not designated to any particular funeral home, (portable to any location)!, not committed or tied to that funeral home. and the funeral home IS NOT the beneficiiary

A person facing immediate Nursing home needs, (or the POA, power of attorney) yet having (for example) $80,000 can obtain $10,000 (each) , a Funeral trust for self & spouse, and children.

Therefore in contrast to paying it all ($80,000), to the nursing home, can immediately apply for Medicaid.

It may be advisable to search for a Nursing home that accepts both private pay AND Medicaid to preserve 'choice options', enter the nursing home as private pay for one or two months, and convert to Medicaid.
In the above example we reserved perhaps $10,000 to $20, for Nursing home payments and $60,000 was devoted to 6 individual Funeral trusts, NOT obtained through the funeral home.
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Cetude, gave very good information as did others.

If your father could go into an A/L his pension would cover most of that depending on what he is in.
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He gets $3500. He should be able to afford to stay at home and get a caregiver. If he is total care or can be considered hospice , he will be better off at home. Everyone is right, consider him dead if he goes into the nursing home. nursing home is the beginning of the end, sorry to say.
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in md your property taxes are based on your income most of my retired friends don't pay any property taxes
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Matpower that is not right. I live in MD and I pay according to my properties' value. It is a percentage. I applied for the senior's allowance. It will not go up from now on as long as I file for it every year. I could have been doing this for years and didn't' know it. If either spouse is 70, you can get it.
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A Miller Trust is something a spouse needs to look into. If the husband OR wife as to go into a NH, the spouse living at home must have a place to live and means for upkeep. Please check with an elder law attorney about a Miller Trust.
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I f he has a spouse, you need an elder law attorney. He can not show very many asests , BUT his spouse can have more in her name only. Spouse entirled to stay in home and own a vehicle plus monies to live
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Research, research, research, and then read the Medicaid rules in your state. All states have the ability to make alterations. For example, in CA, they have Medi-Cal and its not exactly the same as Medi-Caid! Each county also has different approaches. But its extremely important to understand the rules that you are being subjected to because you have to follow them for spend-down, asset protection, spousal protection, and last but most importantly, the protection of your loved one.
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Wamna & Brit - the Medicaid rules for " community spouse" are very different than for an individual who applies for medicaid. You - the spouse - areNOT expected to yourself become impoverished. Most states have it so that the CS can have 114k liquid assets plus home & car & their income isnt counted. But how to best manage all that well I think really you need someone experienced & knowledgeable in how Medicaid is vetted in your state to maximize the situation. Often for CS is that your focus is on day to day chaos of caregiving of your spouse and rightly so. It is hard to figure out Medicaid without distractions much less when you are a daily caregiver. Heisers book is really priceless as it gives you a benchmark for what the medicaid and aging system is. Is just so valuable to enable you to come up with ? to ask your local elder law attorney. Then they in turn will know just who to work with you like a FA in whatever changes need to be done with your assets.

Miller trusts are great, but maybe a CS may not need to get one done if they can get most of NH spouses monthly income to be CSRA or MMNA as payable to spouse for maintenance & living expenses. So if your states Medicaid monthly income max is $2100 but the CRSA or MMNA max is $2,700 and NH hubs income is $3k, his medicaid copay would be only $300. Probably better than putting $900 overage in Miller which state totally gets as the beneficary of the Miller Trust. Really whats best is just so much is tied into your unique $ circumstances & how your state administers medicaid. This is why you need good experienced elder law & FA's to provide you with options.
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Wamnanealz, that is not correct.
You can keep have of joint assets, all of your own personal assets and the family home and one car.
Now the life insurance is another matter.That would have to be cashed in and used for your husbands care.
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Really if you are looking to becoming the "community spouse" or you have either your mom or dad in that situation, you need good experienced legal as there are just so many more details and errors possible for CS planning.

Regular individual Medicaid for NH is pretty exact - they have to become impoverished about 2K monthly income & 2K assets but they can have their homestead & a car as an exempt asset and then FH as allowed by the state. Now they will have no income to pay on either the house or the care anymore but hey, they can still continue to own it (And family need to pay all on both from now till beyond death when probate settles).

But CS is waaaaay more complicated. Really you don't want to become the widow living on food pantry from the local church if you can help it. And based on my experience in all this with my mom & MIL, all of us, if we live long enough and unless we are generationally wealthy, we will eventually run out of money as the costs of health care and NH are just staggering and likely need to apply for Medicaid. A decade younger CS can expect to outlive her in the NH spouse by about a dz years for each. 114K in savings just isn't that much of a nest egg. Really it's totally all worth spending the $ to get advice and options from good legal as what to do that is Medicaid compliant and do this BEFORE the spouse needs to apply for Medicaid. Some items will need to clear your bank account and bank statement to not have an issue for Medicaid. If you use some of the excess $ to pay off a mortgage, well that could take a month to process. Or you use the excess asset $ to buy yourself a compliant SPIA that could take a couple of weeks to get established & clear banking. Or the time for insurance company to change your beneficiary on the life insurance policies to anyone else but your hubby, so he doesn't end up with a windfall & become Medicaid ineligible.

Simple things - like giving 2nd car to grandchild - is a penalty problem for the CS.
CS is just more complicated and not a DIY project imho. You need legal.
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In NC, I believe up to $10,000 insurance policy, irrevocable burial policies, the homesite and a vehicle can be excluded if you are thinking about Medicaid.
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Burial Policy can be exempt but I don't think the Life insurance can be.
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My comments approx number 13 cover these questions
Thanks
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Who owns the life insurance? If it's your dad, it has to be converted to some other product (ask elder care lawyer) or it goes to Medicaid for dad's needs. If policy is owned by someone else then Medicaid can't touch it.
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In Iowa, you are not allowed to have a whole life policy unless you have turned it over to a funeral home. Otherwise you have to cash it in and use it towards your spenddown. You are only allowed $2,000 in resources. You go over that, and you no longer qualify for medicaid. There is no allowance for life insurance unless it is a term policy.
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But the life insurance is all I have. I planned on living on that in my old age, because he is 10 years older than I and I knew it was logical that he would pass first So when they take that I will have nothing. Except for the house and the car. And little way to pay taxes!
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wamnanealz that would be terrible for you, must be some way around that
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