Elder Law – Qualifying for Medicaid Nursing Home Benefits & More

Facing a nursing home bill of $4,000 to $6,000 per month can be financially devastating for a family. Fortunately, there is good news–

  • Many elderly and disabled people qualify for paid nursing home care through Medicaid
  • Medicaid nursing home benefits are free of charge and are available to all qualified United States citizens
  • The elderly and disabled qualified for and received 63% of all Medicaid nursing home care benefits (both long term care and community-based benefits) according to a recent study.*  These elderly and disabled men and women received nearly $123 billion in long term care benefits.
  • Rick Weaver, attorney, or Travis Weaver, attorney, will guide you through the process of determining if you or your aging loved one legally qualifies for Medicaid nursing home benefits. Then we prepare legal documents such as a Miller Trust, a Lady Bird deed, and other estate planning documents to pursue qualification, as well as, help you keep your home, a car, and more.

Questions & Answers 
About Qualifying for Medicaid-Paid Nursing Home Care

We’re sharing some of the many questions we frequently hear from clients and our answers. We hope you find these responses encouraging and helpful.  Or, call 817-638-9016 to schedule an appointment with Rick Weaver, attorney, or Travis Weaver, attorney, including a brief phone conversation about your ability to qualify for nursing home Medicaid payment. 

 “I’m looking at a bill from the nursing home my wife is in. It says we have to start paying about $4,000 a month in the next 30 days or she’ll have to move out. I can’t take care of her at home—she needs 24/7 help.  Is there anything I can do legally to stop this from happening?”

Yes, you can look at options for qualifying for Medicaid paid nursing home care, a federal program that pays for nursing home care for the elderly and disabled. There is a qualification process and complex legal planning is involved to protect your assets like your home, a vehicle, and more.  A lawyer can help you navigate this process.

“The nursing home is telling me I must have less than $3000 of assets for Medicaid to start paying my husband’s nursing home care. I will have sell my house and everything I own…is this true?”

No, it is probably not true that you will need to sell your home. A good lawyer can help you understand how to protect your home, a vehicle, and the majority of your savings. Qualifying for Medicaid means your assets need to be legally arranged to meet guidelines. With appropriate estate planning tools provided by an attorney, your husband can get the care he needs and you’ll maintain your own independent life.

“Even if I apply for Medicaid to pay for my mom’s nursing home bills, I’m still out nearly $15,000 in the time it’ll take to get approved. That’s my entire savings. Doesn’t it take at least several months to get qualified?”

No, your fears are not based on fact. If your mom is approved for Medicaid—we’ll let you know if she has a good chance of being approved—she will be reimbursed for up to 3 months of nursing home care prior to her application being submitted. Hopefully, she will then repay you for whatever funds you’ve spend on her nursing home bills. It usually takes 30 to 45 days for Medicaid applications to be accepted or denied.

“Why doesn’t the nursing home show me how to qualify for Medicaid instead of paying a lawyer?”

Nursing homes are a business—just like the electric company or the phone company. They need to be paid for the services they provide. Most nursing homes are willing to offer limited guidance on a patient’s options, but they do not have the staff or time to help patients arrange for payment of bills. That is the responsibility of the patient or family. Plus, legal work is involved in protecting your assets while qualifying for Medicaid nursing home benefits. Only a lawyer can perform legal work such as a Lady Bird deed or Miller Trust

“How much does it cost to get a lawyer’s help with Medicaid qualification and legal planning? I’m already spending all I have paying my dad’s nursing home bills.”

At Weaver Firm – Attorneys, we’ve been helping folks qualify for Medicaid nursing home care and protect the family home, a vehicle, their life savings, and more for nearly three decades.

When you consider the monthly average cost of a nursing home stay is between $4,000 and $6,000 per month or about $65,000 per year, our fee to help you qualify for Medicaid payment and protect your assets is very reasonable.

Schedule an Appointment with an Attorney – Brief Assessment of Medicaid Qualification

If you would like to meet with us, call 817-638-9016 to schedule an appointment with Rick Weaver, attorney, or Travis Weaver, attorney. During the phone conversation, we’ll give you a brief overview of our services and your ability to qualify for nursing home Medicaid payment. 

Attorney Meeting for Assessment of Medicaid Qualification

You’ll spend one to two hours with either Rick Weaver, attorney, or Travis Weaver, attorney, reviewing a list of items we ask you to bring to the meeting. This helps us–

  • Better understand your situation
  • Assess your basic financial resources
  • Determine status of you or your loved one’s medical condition
  • Offer options beyond “spending down” all your assets to qualify for Medicaid nursing home payment

    Cost: $750

Preparation of Legal Documents

  • Attorney preparation and submission of Medicaid qualification documents for paid nursing home care
  • Attorney preparation of legal documents for estate planning purposes – results in protecting family assets instead of “spending down” to reach eligibility for Medicaid nursing home payment

    Cost: $4,200 to $5,000
    (Compare to one month in the nursing home at between $4,000 and $6,000)

 

Source for Nursing Home Cost: “Understanding Your Options for Care in a Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility 2018” produced by North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging and Disability Resource Center as a community service; web link: http://www.nctcog.org/cs/aging/pdf/nursinghome.pdf

*Source: Medicaid Expenditures By Service chart; Urban Institute estimates based on FY 2013 data from CMS (Form 64), prepared for the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the uninsured.  Medicaid Enrollees and Expenditures, FY 2011 chart; KCMU/Urban Institute estimates based on data from FY2011 MSIS and CMS-64. Web page: http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/medicaid-moving-forward/