How to Pay For a Nursing Home?

How to Pay For a Nursing Home?
Categorized: Elder Law

A short stay or long-term care in a nursing home can be very expensive. Unfortunately, most private insurance policies and Medicare do not cover long-term care. There are, however, several elder law options that can make a stay in a nursing home more affordable for you or a family member.

Will Virginia Medicaid Pay for Long-term Nursing Home Care?

Medicaid in Virginia is an option to pay for a nursing home in Virginia. This is a common method for many individuals who have already used their own financial resources in order to pay for care but still need more assistance. However, it should be understood that there are certain financial guidelines that need to be met in order to qualify for the program.

Some of the basic requirements can include:

  • Individuals who already receive Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) already qualify to receive Medicaid in Virginia.
  • Virginians who are at least 65 years or older, are disabled, or are blind may be eligible to qualify for benefits. However, there are specific limits regarding the amount of income and assets one can own.

Can a Nursing Home Facility Take My Home Away?

The laws of Virginia provide that the state may make a claim for an individual’s home in order to repay the costs of Medicaid coverage after they pass away. According to these laws, a home is only exempt for a period of up to the first six months after an individual enters a nursing home facility unless certain relatives, such as a spouse or another dependent relative, reside in the home. After the six-month period of time has passed, the home is considered to be a “countable resource” and can cause Medicaid ineligibility unless it can be considered exempt.

Nonetheless, there are certain steps that an attorney can take that can help to prevent Medicaid from attempting to recoup losses in what is called “estate recovery.”  If you are facing the possibility of having to enter a nursing home, you need to speak with an attorney who can help explain your legal options.

How Can an Attorney Help Me Protect My Home?

An experienced attorney who understands the nursing home system can explain what your legal options may be and how you may be able to protect your home and assets.

Transferring or selling a home may cause Medicaid to impose a penalty period in which an individual would be deemed ineligible to receive benefits for a specific amount of time. However, there may be certain circumstances where a house could be transferred without incurring a penalty from Medicaid.

One possible method is the transfer of a home to your spouse, or child who is under 21, or who is blind or disabled. Another possible option involves what is termed a “caretaker child.” This is defined as a child of the applicant who has resided in the home for a period of at least two years prior to the applicant needing to be placed in a facility. During the two-year period, the care that they provided was given in order for the applicant to avoid having to live in a nursing home.

As in all legal matters, it is highly imperative that you consult with an attorney before making any decisions that could impact your ability to enter a nursing home or jeopardize your homeownership. Call our offices and schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you.

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