My father had significant debts I would like to pay off but we applied for Medicaid already and don't know if we should or not.

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Is your dad a widow in a facility and applying for LTC Medicaid?
if so, did anyone explain to Medicaids required copay of his income?
and what his nonexempt asset limit is for the remainder of his lifetime?
If he’s in a NH, the NH usually has you do the LTC Medicaid application there, ypthe dooa provides the documentation needed (banks stems FS, his SS awards letter, etc) and then they review it and submit it along with their bill to the state. If this is what was done, I bet the amount of $ he has is pretty low. How much $ is it?

Please please realize Medicaid requires him to basically pay all his monthly income to the NH. It’s his required copay. All he will be allowed to keep is a smallish personal needs allowance / PNA that tends to be $50-60 for most states. And a max of $ 2,000 for nonexempt assets.

say dad - a widow- gets only $1234.56 from SS each month. Dads in TX which has $60 as the PNA. He will be required to pay the NH $1174.56 every mo to the NH. How it’s done could be that he makes the NH his representative payee or he continues to have SS direct deposit into his bank account and his dpoa writes a check or online pays the NH each mo like by the 4th of the month. His $60 PNA either gets spend out in the month or adds into his assets, but if it’s done this way you / he MUST make sure it does not ever go over 2k as it can make him ineligible for MedicAID. Again 2k nonexempt asset maximum.

PNA is it for $ for him from here on out for flexible $.
Avg NH stay is 2.5 years. & within that time he will oh so definitely need items that Medicaid will never ever pay for. Like clothing replacement, toiletries, books, magazines, barbershop visits, extra eyeglasses, hearing aid batteries. Monthly barber will use a good bit of his PNA. Often NH charge extra for phone and cable and the amount is an exact match to the PNA. He will need to draw from his max 2k assets at some point in the future. Or family pays for all.

Medicaid doesn’t give a rats butt about debts. Medicaid doesn’t care if he still has his old apt with past due rent; or has balances on Visa cards & Visa has turned it over to collections. The only time debts matter is if there’s a community spouse or it’s community based Medicaid programs he’s applying to.

Medicaid is all about his assets. & the use of his assets to pay towards his care first and foremost. Let’s say in his LTC application, his bank statements submitted showed he had $4,567.89 in his savings, then Medicaid are likely going to expect him to use $ 2,567.89 to pay first & foremost towards his room & board charges at the NH before he will be eligible. If you as dpoa go and pay off his VISA and then Medicaid sends him a 30 day spend down requirement to pay the NH the $2567.89 excess, what then?

Once on LTC Medicaid they basically default on their debts. Whether it’s a mortgage on their home or a MasterCard with a $12k balance. They have no more $ due to Medicaid requirements for a copay. If family want to pay debts off, that’s on them if it makes sense to do.
Personally if he has a term life insurance policy that still has premiums due, and you or other family are the beneficiary for them, I’d make sure to continue to pay them. Medicaid allows for term to be an exempt asset as long they have a reasonable face value. You can use the life insurance policy $ to pay towards his funeral burial costs.
Helpful Answer (1)

The only reason you would want to pay his debts is if by spending down his assets you will get approved for Medicaid faster. Depending on the State, your only allowed a certain amount of money in the bank. So if dad is over that limit in your state, you can spend down his assets by paying off debts.
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