The Elrod Firm


Do You Have to Be Broke to Get Help?

Justin, We just transferred my dad from in-patient rehab to long-term care in a nursing home.  Medicare was paying for his rehab, but the first bill after rehab ended was more than $6,000.  Does he have to pay these bills until he’s broke to get any financial help with these charges?   – Dan

Dan, No, the worst thing your father could possibly do would be to simply pay the nursing home charges out of pocket until his money runs out.  One of the most important things the attorneys at my firm do on a weekly basis is help families find better ways to deal with the high costs of long-term care.

One benefit your father might be able to take advantage of is Medicaid.  The vast majority of nursing home residents receive Medicaid benefits.  The difference between them is whether they spent every penny they had before becoming eligible for the benefit or they worked with someone who really understood the rules so they could save some assets while becoming eligible.  The business offices at most nursing homes are willing and able to help families apply for Medicaid, but they are not trained or equipped to help those families save assets while they move towards qualification.

Many fear Medicaid because they have heard horror stories about families losing their homes after going on the benefit.  Some of those stories are true, but when you work with a firm like ours that knows what it’s doing, you can avoid those traps.

Another benefit your father might look into is VA Aid and Attendance.  If he served on active duty during a period of war, he might be eligible for a tax-free monthly pension designed to help offset the costs of long-term care.

Without more details, I can’t identify your father’s best course of action right now, but I can say with certainty that paying out of pocket until he’s broke is not the way to go.  Call today for a no charge consultation with one of our attorneys, or check out our website to learn more.

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