Will Medicare pay for the cost of my care if I need nursing home care?
Medicare will only pay for a maximum of 100 days in the skilled nursing facility if you meet certain requirements. You must have moved to the nursing home within 30 days of the hospital discharge and the hospital stay must have lasted at least three (3) days. Also, you must require a skilled level of care. If you meet these requiremnts, Medicare will pay completely for the first twenty (20) days.
For days twenty-one (21) through 100, they will pay less a co-payment, which is set each year. In most situations, people receive less than the full 100 days of benefits. After that point, you either have to pay privately with your own funds or obtain Medicaid eligibility.
If my spouse requires Medicaid, will I lose all of my assets?
Medicaid will allow a spouse living in the community to keep their home and a modest amount of the couple's savings. However, Medicaid does cap the amount of assets the spouse in the community can keep regardless of whose name the assets were in when the couple first applied. For this reason, it is critically important for a couple to speak with an elder law attorney to ensure that the assets are protected.
Will my homestead declaration protect my house if my spouse or I need Medicaid benefits?
A homestead declaration filed with the Registry of Deeds offers no protection in the Medicaid context.
If I give away my assets, will this make me ineligible for five (5) years?
With careful planning, it is possible to shorten the ineligibility period so that it is less than five (5) years. In addition, there are many exceptions to the Medicaid rules, where there is no transfer penalty imposed by Medicaid. However, you need to work with a qualified elder law attorney to identify these planning opportunities.