Sharon area MA Elder Law Atty.--Why Some Nursing Homes Mislead Elders

By
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, Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, Brockton, Canton, East Bridgewater, Foxboro, Mansfield, Norton, Randolph, Raynham, Rehoboth, Rockland, Sharon, Stoughton, West Bridgewater, and Whitman, 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.  

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: 

The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC)   

Bristol County Family and Probate Court   

Plymouth County Family and Probate Court   

Norfolk County Family and Probate Court 

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  

SHARON MA 

Sharon MA Council on Aging

Sharon MA website

Sharon MA Advocate

Sharon MA Patch

Sharon MA Library

Sharon MA Lions Club

Sharon MA Community TV

Sharon MA Historical Society

Sharon MA Rotary Club

ESTATE PLANNING 

AARP estate planning article 

Forbes magazine estate planning article 

Kiplinger magazine estate planning article 

USA newspaper estate planning article  

American Bar Association's Estate Planning FAQ's 

New York Times article on estate planning 

US News article on estate planning 

Fox Business article on estate planning 

Los Angeles Times article on estate planning   

COA'S 

Abington MA Council on Aging 

Attleboro 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 

North Attleboro MA Council On Aging

Norwood MA Senior Center

Plainville 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 

Walpole MA Council On Aging

West Bridgewater MA Council on Aging 

Whitman MA Council on Aging  

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