Q: My mother has Alzheimer’s and we are looking into placing her into an assisted living facility which deals with her specific needs. If me and my siblings self pay with no charge to her insurance, is the facility entitled to their savings account and or home? (Munhall, PA)
A: I believe your question is whether or not Medicaid potentially has an interest in your parent’s bank accounts or home. The assisted living facility does not care who pays the bill, as long as it is paid. If the bill cannot be paid due to the exhaustion of funds, the facility will advise the next of kin to apply for Medicaid. Once the Medicaid application begins, Medicaid will require the next of kin to report all of mother’s assets. In simple terms, since Medicaid is potentially paying for your mother’s nursing care for the remainder of her life, they expect a contribution of the value of her personal assets. Medicaid looks at all transfer of an applicant’s assets within the five years preceding the application done for less than fair compensation. This normally include gifts to family. Any asset so gifted, can penalize her from Medicaid coverage to the extent of the value of the asset transferred. Since you can afford private pay now, you have some time to prepare for the future when mother’s costs may grow significantly, and you therefore should meet with an attorney.