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Please check into this with Medicaid or an Elder Law attorney, or else just pay expenses one more month with that $4000. Then, apparently, she will qualify. If this is a matter of getting an available room, she should still get the room under private pay for that month and then go to Medicaid. Good luck. Make each step a sure step so you have no worries afterward.
here's my suggestions:
A. if she has a home & you want to keep it - prepay utilities, property taxes,insurance, even do prepaid maintenance contracts for the yard, AC, etc. Poof $$$ all gone.
B. if she doesn't have a funeral & burial policy done - this will easily be more that $4K so another good spend down. The critical thing is to have the policy as
non-transferable and no cash value. NCV is a key when dealing with Medicaid.
C. if she doesn't have life insurance and is still young enough to buy it - a $ 1K or
$ 1,500 TERM life policy. This must be POD (paid on death) only with NCV and no ability to be transferred, the beneficiary ideally should be whomever is the executor of her estate. This would then be $$ the executor/family could use for her final/burial expenses. Again NCV is critical for anything you get for her.
Life insurance is sticky in that whole policies have a cash value (you don't want that). The CV amount of the policy MUST be under whatever is the Medicaid ceiling for insurance policies - for Texas it is $ 1,500. If not, you have to cash out the whole life policy before Medicaid will pay. For term policies, it's also important if mom is still kinda young enough to outlive her term policy to the point that it produces a dividend. That dividend is "income" for Medicaid so you need for the
dividend to either be: 1) required to be put back into the policy with no cash distribution OR 2) of such a low amount that it is under the state's ceiling. My experience is that insurance agents hate writing these as they make no real $$ on these type of policies. AARP seem to have the best & easy to set in place ones.
D. legal stuff - If she doesn't have a will, DPOA, MPOA and "guardianship in case of incapacity" done, then go see an elder care attorney to have this drawn up.
This maybe will cost $ 500 - 750 and well worth it.
E. if you have all of the above already done - dental work for mom. Get whatever done ASAP. 1 crown, cleaning and xrays & gum work and poof! 4k gone.
F. New glasses, hearing aid and a good premium walker (like a Hugo) are also good items to buy as Medicaid reinburseable's on those items are cheap and ugly.
G. New easy to put on and hot water washable clothing.
Remember to keep all the receipts and business cards, in case there is a glitch when her application is reviewed. Good luck!
It seems to me the hard question is, do we need to apply for Medicaid? If/when the answer is "yes," then spending down is a given.
If all that is standing between the needy person and qualifying for Mediciad is $4,000 (as in the original posting), then the only question left is what is the best way to spend that $4,000.
It is really nice that she gets to spend the money, rather than being required to pay it to the NH. Take advantage of that opportunity.
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