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Why Some Nursing Homes Mislead Elders About MassHealth (Medicaid)?

Real Estate Attorney with an Expertise in Estate Planning and Elder Law

The author Brigitte von Weiss of VON WEISS LAW OFFICE is an Easton MA estate planning and elder law attorney.

Website:  vonweisslaw.com

Why is it that some nursing homes mislead elders about MassHealth (also known as Medicaid)?  Recently, a nursing home told my client (let's call her Mrs. Elder) not to apply for MassHealth (also known as Medicaid) for her husband because if she did apply for MassHealth, the MassHealth agency would put a lien on her house.  This is misleading.  The MassHealth regulations specifically set forth that a MassHealth lien cannot be placed when there is a spouse living in the house.  Because Mrs. Elder is a spouse living in the house, a lien could not be placed on Mr. and Mrs. Elder's home. 

Luckily, Mrs. Elder ignored the nursing home and came to see me for assistance in getting her husband on MassHealth.  If she had followed the advice of the nursing home, she would have impoverished herself by privately paying for Mr. Elder's nursing home care to the tune of $11,000 per month.  Instead, with my assistance, she was able to get her husband on MassHealth by purchasing an immediate annuity meeting certain requirements set forth in MassHealth regulations.  Most of her husband's income (approximately $3,000 per month) went to the nursing home, but that was far less impoverishing than the private pay rate of $11,000 per month.   Together Mrs. Elder and I also accomplished getting Mr. Elder's name off the deed to their home and changing her will so that her husband did not directly inherit from her, but instead was the beneficiary of her testamentary trust.

Why would a Nursing Home discourage an Elder from applying for MassHealth?

The answer is simple.  Private pay is more money.  Nursing homes get roughly 65 cents on the dollar for elders on MassHealth in contrast to those who are privately paying.  In other words, if Mrs. Elder is privately paying for Mr. Elder's nursing home care in the vicinity of Easton, Stoughton, Brockton, Bridgewater, Norton, Mansfield, Canton or Raynham, Massachusetts, she would be paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $11,000 per month whereas the MassHealth reimbursement rate (plus patient pay amount) would be approximately $7000-$8,000 per month. 

Applying for MassHealth Long-Term Care Benefits and Dealing with the MassHealth Agency

No one should attempt to apply for MassHealth long-term care benefits without the assistance of a professional.  Nothing in this blog should be considered legal advice as this is a complicated area of the law.  

The author Attorney Brigitte von Weiss of VON WEISS LAW OFFICE is an estate planning lawyer and elder law attorney serving clients in Easton, MA, as well as nearby towns and cities, including Abington MA, Avon, MA, Bridgewater MA, Brockton MA, Canton MA, East Bridgewater MA, Foxboro MA, Mansfield MA, Norton MA, Randolph MA, Raynham MA, Rehoboth MA, Rockland MA, Sharon MA, Stoughton MA, West Bridgewater MA, and Whitman MA.  

Brigitte, a graduate of Boston College School of Nursing and an honors graduate of Loyola University of Chicago Law School, stands out from other elder law and estate planning attorneys in that she worked as a registered nurse for four years and earned a Master of Science in Taxation with high distinction from Bentley College.  This unique combination of legal, nursing and taxation backgrounds enables Brigitte to provide outstanding legal guidance to her clients in their time of need.  Call (508) 238-3005 for a free phone conversation with Brigitte to learn if she can help.  You also may reach her through her website at www.vonweisslaw.com.


Alzheimer's Association

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Massachusetts Chapter of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Massachusetts Area Agency's on Aging (AAA's)
  and Aging Service Access Points (ASAP's)

MassHealth form

Bristol Elder Services

Old Colony Elder Services

Hessco Elder Services

Easton MA 

Easton MA Council on Aging  

Town of Easton MA website  

Easton MA Patch  

Easton MA Journal  

Easton MA Historical Society 

Children's Museum Easton MA

Easton MA Garden Club


My Brother's Keepers Assistance Easton MA

Easton MA Community Access Television

House of Possibilities Easton MA


Abington MA Council on Aging

Avon MA Council on Aging

Bridgewater MA Office on Elder Affairs

Brockton MA Council on Aging

Canton MA Council on Aging


East Bridgewater MA Council on Aging 


Easton MA Council on Aging 


Mansfield MA Council on Aging 


Norton MA Council on Aging 


Randolph MA Council on Aging


Raynham MA Council on Aging 


Rehoboth MA Council on Aging  


Rockland MA Council on Aging 


Sharon MA Council on Aging


Stoughton MA Council on Aging 


West Bridgewater MA Council on Aging


Whitman MA Council on Aging