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My mom is in a nursing home and as of June, all of her income except $50 a month goes to the nursing home. She had a small amount in her checking account which was needed to pay for the nursing home contributions from December through May. She has nothing left. We have cleared out her apartment, but she now has a bill from the hospital before she went into the nursing home for $800. She also has a remaining electric bill from her apartment of approximately $200. Should I just pay these for her out of my own money or call the companies and let them know she has nothing left and is unable to pay?

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If your name was on your mother's bank account for check cashing only, that's OK, you are not responsible for her debts because it is-was-still her money, not yours. I made darn sure when my name went on mom's bank account that I wouldn't be responsible for any of her debts.
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You are not responsible for anything you don't sign for; therefore make sure you sign NOTHING without reading it first. My brother passed away in Maryland and they tried to collect money from me because I was his POA, but I contacted them and let them know I knew they couldn't collect anything from me because I signed nothing and he lived in a nursing home and they kept most of his Social Security to pay for his stay there until he died.
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As a courtesy, I called all my mother's debtors to let them know of her finanacial limitations. Each party was appreciative that I called, and wrote it off, no problem and I never heard from them again. You asked about future hospitalizations - they will be covered with her current Medicaid. Your second question - I do not fully understand? She is on Medicaid because she qualifies for assistance due to her financial limitations, if this does come out, why do you think they would be surprised to learn she has unpaid debt? That goes without saying - in their line of work, no'? Best blessings to you as you take up her sword...
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My mom is on Medicaid. However, the hospital bill is from December and as that was the only medical bill from December, she was not covered by Medicaid until January as her medical bills were not more than her spend down. We hired a company to apply for Medicaid for us and they told us to not pay it until we found out if it was covered or not. Now that it isn't, my mother doesn't have enough to pay for it as she was still paying her rent and utilities thinking we were going to be able to get her home with home care. However, in NY, you are only allowed $845 a month for that and her bills were more, leaving her with not enough to pay hospital after paying her share to nursing home.

I know I am not responsible, especially as I am not even her POA, but I just wonder if the nonpayment would have an adverse effect on her in the future. Say if she ends up going back to that hospital, will they refuse to treat her? Or as she is on a waiting list for Medicaid covered assisted living, will these outstanding bills somehow make her ineligible?
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Ask the hospital for a detailed bill to see if everything is legitimate or should have been covered by Medicare. After that you are not responsible. As far as the electric company is concerned simply inform them of your mother's situation and forget it they can't touch you or Mom for that matter. Both bills will probably just be written off it would cost them more to try and collect the money than the bills are worth.
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Children are NOT responsible for their parent's bills.
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#1 Isn't she on Medicaid?
#2 If so, why are YOU thinking about paying the bills?
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You are not responsible for your mothers debt, unless the bills where in your name also.
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Forgot to add, ask for their assistance in determining an adjusted Patient Pay Amount that will allow payment of prior medical bills, pursuant to BEM 546 at 10. I am in Michigan.
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If you applied for Medicaid, you should have been able to also include these bills if they were in the previous 3 months. You can ask to have her Patient Pay Amount adjusted. Give the Case Worker a call to discuss. You will need to provide copies of the bills and charges.
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PS How did the hospital bill get overlooked? Did they send it in late, is it for peculiar extras, wasn't she insured? That one might be worth arguing about, possibly.
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Call the companies and let them know. You are not responsible for these outstanding accounts and you shouldn't feel obliged to meet them out of your own pocket; but it would still be courteous to inform the creditors so that they can at least get their records straight. They may want to arrange some sort of token repayment plan but in the circumstances it's hardly worth their trouble, and I'd avoid agreeing on your mother's behalf to anything that sounds at all complicated.
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We have an "assistance payment program" and you can "Donate" along with your usual electric bill to help people who are indigent. I believe that this may fall under that category--at least call the company and explain the situation.

Although, yes, if your name isn't on the account, the electric company can't come "get you".
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I had the same issue with my mom. There is actually a federal law to protect children from their parents debts. So you are by no means responsible for paying her bills. *Unless you are on the account or sign a document saying you'll be responsible. In both cases here, I'd bet you can call and explain the situation. If you are applying for medicaid it will most likely cover the $800 hospital bill. The electric bill would probably be written off or a hold would be put on the account. Is she were to ever have an electric bill in her name again she may have to setup payment for the overdue amount.
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I would call and tell them that she is unable to pay.
She has no money and is in a Nursing home.
If you pay these bills from your own account it might set a presidence where you may be required to continue to pay her bills.
I suppose you could ask for a payment plan so your Mom could pay the bills from her "account" tell them that she can not afford any more than $5.00 a month

You are not "required" to pay her debts..unless your name is on any of the accounts or when she was in the hospital you signed that you would be responsible for payment.
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It is just me, but I would pay at least the electric bill. My husband says I am the straightest person he knows, as far as being honest and paying what is owed. Most especially, as if you don't pay the electric bill, someone else might have to.
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Pay them if you feel so inclined, but otherwise let them go. They're pretty uncollectible.
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