Tag Archives: MEDICARE

Spouse is ill. Lots of questions.

Q: My spouse has high med bills and has illness which will continue to worsen. He has no long term coverage. How do I avoid going broke paying his medical bills? How do you qualify for Medicaid? What is amount which you can gift to children? The house is going to me via will but I am not on deed or title, only on the mortgage. Would quit claim deed be solution? (Jefferson Hills, PA)

A: There is no quick and easy solution to this and you can create worse problem by starting to give things away. There is no simple answer here. Please do not worsen the problem by transferring assets on your own without the assistance of an elder law attorney. If the ill person is not yet 62 years of age, he or she will not qualify for Medicare but will qualify for insurance regardless of pre existing conditions due to the affordable care act. Check out www.Healthcare.gov. If the ill person is 62 or older he or she can apply for Medicare and should do so with the assistance of an elder law attorney to determine the best way to preserve the person’s assets without doing anything that would jeopardize their Medicaid eligibility, when they do apply for Medicaid in the future. Generally, to qualify for Medicaid a person must have almost no money or assets. Not sure what is going on with your house, specifically why it is not titled to husband and wife. With Medicaid, if the husband and wife are both on the deed, the house may qualify under the homestead exclusion and would be protected. You need to discuss whether transferring this house now is a good idea and all matters with an experienced estate or elder law attorney.

Will Medicare, if requested, give us a detailed list of money spent on mother-in-law?

Q: We are trying to get a range of money Medicare is going to try and recoup after her death. This will also help us decide on decisions we need to make regarding her assets that she has. Thank you

A: Generally, Medicare does not initiate recovery of monies paid unless the payee collected the payments under some type of fraud, or if the payee was awarded money from an injury lawsuit while receiving Medicare payments and thus, double dipped. I think perhaps you mean Medicaid. Medicaid does have a recovery program administered through the PA Department of Public Welfare. When a person enters a nursing home with insufficient funds to pay for care or their funds become depleted while in care, they may have to apply for Medicaid funding. Medicaid can have a lien on all personal and real property of the applicant and expect the financial contribution of the market value of those assets in order for the person to be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid liens most commonly can be enforced against a home when there is no spouse or disabled or minor child living in the home. If a person feels a loved one may need Medicaid funding in the future it is very wise to consult with an attorney regarding careful financial planning so at least a portion of the person’s assets can be sheltered from Medicaid. You have the legal right to get information from Medicare or Medicaid as long as you are authorized to do so. If a Power of Attorney or a standard Release is needed for you to obtain this information, Medicare or Medicaid will let you know which you need.