As POA am I responsible for my Mom's unpaid hospital bills? - AgingCare.com

As POA am I responsible for my Mom's unpaid hospital bills?

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Sunday I had to call 911 when Mom fell and I couldn't get her up. She did not hurt herself in the fall, but she was both dehydrated, low on sodium, and has a bad UTI. She will probably need to be transferred from the hospital to a rehab nursing facility. My question is this. As her POA am I responsible for unpaid bills from the hospital? ie. radiology, specialists etc. I unfortunately have all her money in a joint account. When that is gone, am I still held responsible?

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Mom who is 96 has a Medicare Advantage plan. There is a $140 copay on her hospital room. She does not qualify for Medicaid, because she has both Social Security and a Pension, but it will not be enough to pay for a nursing facility. She will be released to one after she gets out. I was shocked at what they cost. We have a very modest savings. The copay for the nursing home will be $150 a day. Her combined SS and pension will only pay for half of this, so the rest will come our of the savings. There is only enough in it, to last about eight months. I am beginning to get worried.
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As Power of Attorney you are not responsible for your Mom's unpaid hospital bills... unless you had signed a financial page saying you would be responsible.

Does your Mom have Medicare [if she is over 65 she probably does if she is a U.S. citizen] or does she have Medicaid? My Dad had fallen a few times and was transported by EMT's to the hospital and couple times had to stay over. So far I haven't paid one bill as it looked like Medicare paid for everything, even the ambulance rides. Whatever Medicare doesn't pay, usually the secondary insurance will pick it the cost.
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No, your mother is responsible for her bills, and you, using your POA, pay her bills with her money. Keep all invoices. Get her money out of that joint account and into a separate, dedicated account which you operate for her. It's much better to do that anyway for the sake of transparency and good accounting.

Be careful when signing any agreements - go over the small print with a magnifying glass. You sign for and on behalf of, with Power of Attorney for Mrs X; you do NOT act as her guarantor or accept liability for costs.

Do you need to make an applications for financial assistance for her? Other forum members have a great deal of expertise about this - ask away!
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