Several Readers’ Long Term Care Answers

Dear Mr. Premack: My mother-in-law is 88. Has been in nursing home in TX for several years. Husband is deceased. She owns home value 60k, no liens. Two sons own 1/4 each. She has willed her 50% to my wife to take care of a third son who is in same nursing home. Granddaughter lives in home paying no rent. Will Medicaid take the 50% when wife’s mother dies? JK

MERP will make a claim when she dies. It is enforceable in probate court against her 1/2 interest. There are options to save the home, like an enhanced life estate deed or transfer of title to an adult disabled child. See an Elder Law Attorney for assistance.

Dear Mr. Premack: What are the financial eligibility requirements for adult individuals living at home in Texas and not long term care? I can’t seem to find this anywhere on the web. How is household income looked at. For example an 80 year old women living with his son and daughter in law. Is the son and daughters income counted as well? DP

If by “living at home and not long term care” you mean a person who needs nursing assistance but wants to stay at home, you are talking about the “StarPlus+” program. It has the same financial eligibility requirements as institutional care, but has a long waiting list to actually receive benefits. Only the income of the Medicaid applicant is counted; income of family members living in the household is not counted.

Dear Mr. Premack: I live in Oklahoma and my mother is in nursing home in Hughes Springs, Texas. She put there to rehab for broken hip. Her memory is failing as noticed by family and the nursing home. My brother and I are concerned about her welfare and have been working to get medicaid for her to stay in nursing home. However, she has not been diagnosed with anything to keep her under constant nurses care. What are the chances she will receive medicaid? DR

One Medicaid requirement is that a patient must have medical necessity for at least intermediate level care. They will not pay for custodial care (what we might consider adult baby-sitting with no medical necessities). She can only qualify for Medicaid if she meets the financial eligibility requirments and the age (65+), citizenship and medical necessity requirements. Keep working with her doctor to be sure that she is getting the protection she needs. Eventually her condition may justify the doctor certifying her with a medical necessity.

Dear Mr. Premack: My mother in law is in the process of applying for Medicaid, however she signed for a vehicle for my brother in law back in 2013. She signed on the vehicle because he has less than perfect credit and was facing high interest rates. The vehicle has never been in my mother in law’s possession, and my brother in law has had full responsibility, regarding payments, insurance and maintenance of the vehicle. We fear that she will not qualify for her full benefits due to this 2013 vehicle. My brother in law has all the supporting documentation to show proof that he has had full financial responsibility of this vehicle. CC

One of the financial eligibility requirements is that an individual have no more than $2000 in countable resources. However, a person is allowed to own certain items that are not counted against that limit, and one of them is “one automobile”. If her name is on the title, it may not impact her if it is the only vehicle she owns. If her name is not on the title, but only on the loan agreement, then the debt will have no impact on her ability to qualify for Medicaid.

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