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Mom has 38,000 in a co-checking account with my sister. My mom is going into a nursing home within a week.

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She will have to spend down. However, in some states, if you get close to the point where she will go on Medicaid they allow you to pay extra for awhile prior to the point of reaching the $2000. You'll have to talk with Medicaid and perhaps an attorney to see what can be done. But you can't hide the money.
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She will not get Medicaid at all until she spends down from 38K to 2K. You cannot hide the money; Medicaid looks back five years into financials. If money disappears, so does Medicaid.
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We live in Ohio and my mom also had about $30,000 in a joint account with me. When we applied for Medicaid, I had to use that money to pay for her nursing home care until there was only $1200 left. I also had to be very careful that I kept her total balance under $1200 or Medicaid would have been stopped.
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I don't get this type of thinking that we should NOT having to spend our money to pay for our care as we age. So what if an elderly person has to spend their money before they go on Medicaid? What else should it be used for? Gifts for grandchildren?? Please, everyone, consult with your local Adult Resource Center and you will have all the answers you need. They will guide you every step of the way. And your parents won't have to have it be a bad experience. It is a part of life and we should all work toward accepting that, as we age, our lives will (for most us) get smaller and less exciting, but if we can learn to be content, our lives can still be rich and full. I'm speaking from the frustration that has come from helping my in-laws through all these steps and having them fight me every step of the way, even though I have given my heart and soul to the process and to making it as pleasant as possible. I'm so thankful for our local Adult Resource Center making this easier!
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I had a joint account with my mom. I had to show proof of what amount I had deposited into account. My mom's share could not be over $2k. It is sad that our elderly sometimes lose all their life long savings to qualify for Medicaid.
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I believe you can only have $2,000 in assets. You cannot save money for a private room as I am 99% sure this would disqualify her for medicaid. God help the seniors - we are the discarded remants of society who doesn't want us any more. But, remember, we all get old if we don't die young. And sadly, knowing how some seniors become something different than what they were, can you blame people for not wanting them around? Think about it.
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Riley166, I agree. Other societies view their Senior Citizens as gold to be treasured and taken care of. Not here. There is aid available but to qualify, you need to be borderline living in a cardboard box under an overpass. Seniors are abused at home and in facilities. We are remnants of what used to be.
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kidmonsters, before you give up, take Carol's advice -- talk to Medicaid, perhaps after talking to an Elder Law attorney. It might not work out, but at least you'll have left no stone unturned.

Two of my aunts were in a care center in a small town. I know that at least one of them was on Medicaid. They each had private rooms. How did they do that? When the center was built they put in only single rooms. They were teeny tiny -- I doubt they had more room than my mother did in her half of a double, but they were definitely private. And each bed had a window!

Here is something to consider, in case getting a single doesn't work out. Many residents spend very little time in their rooms. They go to activities, sit in the television room (even though they have one in their room) to see the big screen and also to have other people around them. My mom took her magazines to the dining room which had great light, felt open and light, and always had other residents.

I am not trying to talk you out of trying for a single room. But in case that is your only option, it might not be as bad for your mom as you fear.
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Why won't the "like" button let me like this more than once. I would give Janevir 10 likes for this common sense answer. We should all be saving and planning on paying our own way until the end. If there is leftover to dole out to heirs, that is a bonus.

Medicaid is welfare. It is meant for those who have nothing and it is a way that we DO take care of our elders in tis country. Whether they failed to plan, were unable to save, fell victim to a series of unfortunate events... we (meaning those who pay taxes) take care of them.

Why should people be able to protect assets if the government is providing them with their every need. What do they need the cash for? To pass on to heirs? Not really the way it is suppose to work.

I hope and pray that I have planned well enough that I never have to go on Medicaid. I hope that I have just enough money to last me to my last day. If there is anything left to pass on to my kids, that would be great but they are not entitled to an inheritance. My gift to them is the gift of teaching them how to take care of themselves.
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