My father is 67 years old, mortally obese and has less than $75,000 in assets. If he needed long-term care and ran out of his $75,000 in assets, who pays for his care? Will the care facility or the government come after me and my brother to pay for his care?
A: Control your senior assets to eliminate debt
This is a question that is often asked too late, well after a loved one is placed in long term care. In the event your father is placed in long term care at the direction of a doctor, he will qualify on 2 out of 3 indicators for Facility Medicaid.
- Over the age of 65 or disabled (Check)
- Directed to long term care by a doctor for more than 30 days (check)
- Meets the financial requirements (not yet)
Many people believe you have to spend all the assets on the long term care facility before you apply for Medicaid. This is because most people do not research facility medicaid until the money is gone.
You and your brother could do a spend down of his $75000 to help him qualify for Medicaid AND eliminate any debts that would be passed on to living relatives. It would not jeopardize his medicaid qualifications to use the assets to pay off all debts. In addition, you could prepay for his funeral using a medicaid compliant funeral trust. Finally, if there is money left, he can own one car and one house and still qualify for facility medicaid. As long as you are not gifting his assets, you are within the realm of a medicaid compliant spend down.
Rather than paying all $75000 to a facility, which may last 10 months to a year, you could spend down the assets in order to be in a better financial position by prepaying for a funeral, paying off debt, and purchasing a car (minivan to go to appointments in) and then apply for medicaid, which he would qualify for.
Once you are on facility medicaid, the government pays the bill for long term care.