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When My Father Is Admitted to the Hospital, What Do I Do With Extra Money in His Nursing Home Account?

  • May 11th, 2017
Q
My father is in a nursing home in Florida and receiving Medicaid. When he is admitted to the hospital, the nursing home doesn't deduct money from his account for the days he is not in the nursing home. What am I supposed to do with the additional money in his account? The nursing home typically takes $1,960 from his account monthly, and this month it deducted only $1,074 since he was in the hospital for part of the month. 
A

This situation is not uncommon. It can become a problem if, at the end of the month, your father’s account exceeds the asset limit for Medicaid, which in many states is $2,000. This means you have to spend down the excess before the end of the month. You can do this by paying for anything your father may need or want, including: meals out or delivered in, stereo equipment, books on tape, companions who come to read to your father or take him on walks or outings, extra therapy or medical care – in short, anything that you can think of that is for your father. If your father has not prepaid for his funeral, you can enter into a contract with the funeral home and use the excess to begin paying the fee. In some states, you can make transfers to a (d)(4)(C) (“pooled”) trust, but for these small amounts it’s probably not worth the trouble. You could also ask the nursing home because they must run into this problem relatively often.

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Last Modified: 05/11/2017

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