Can the nursing home take 95% of my husband’s income?

Q: My husband was recently placed in a nursing home, and now they are taking 95% of his retirement is this legal. As his spouse what is my recourse, since I still need to live in the home and cannot maintain it on my income alone. (Jefferson Hills, PA)

A: From your question, I am uncertain if your husband’s income is going to Medicaid pursuant to a standard Medicaid formula as to how much the institutional spouse receives and how much the community spouse (you) receives. 95% seems high to me. If this is the nursing home that is intercepting his money and it is not going to Medicaid, then I think you should consult with an elder lawyer or estate lawyer versed in Medicaid law to review your marital income to determine how this is happening and other options you may have including an application to Medicaid.


Can wife preserve half of couple’s savings from Medicaid?

Q: If a husband has Alzheimer’s disease, is it true that only half of a couple’s savings need go to memory care before Medicaid takes over? He is in a very nice memory care home but I am afraid we will run out of money and was told that when his half is used up he could go on Medicaid.

A:  It is somewhat of an oversimplification of the issues, but not far off point. Medicaid looks at the combined marital estate and as the community spouse (he is the institutionalized spouse) you can shelter the home and a share of the other assets. Under the guidance of an experienced attorney versed in Medicaid regulations, you may be able to shelter one-half or more of your marital estate.