Payment Gap Means Families Could Get Nursing-Home Bill
Last week, we talked about a case in Pennsylvania in which a man is being required to pay his mother’s $93,000 nursing-home bill. She couldn’t afford it, and her Medicaid application wasn’t approved in time, Carolyn Rosenblatt reported at Forbes.com.
The story has brought up questions about whether court decisions like this could start happening in other states. A Lawyers.com blog post claims yes.
[Katherine Pearson, director of the Elder Protection Clinic at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law] says that although 29 states have filial support laws, outside of Pennsylvania she’s only seen it applied in South Dakota in the last 25 years. However, other states could potentially follow the Keystone State’s lead in seeking payment from debtor’s children, especially as medical costs rise and baby boomers consume more care. “I certainly think Pennsylvania’s decision could excite nursing homes in other states,” she says.
The post advises consulting with an attorney about your state’s Medicaid laws and your parent’s eligibility “if there’s any chance at all that your loved one’s medical coverage might not account for the cost of a rehab or nursing center stay.” (Granted, this isn’t surprising advice, given that it’s Lawyers.com.)
Pearson says, “The key is not to allow a gap to develop because the gaps are what incentivize the nursing home to try to find someone to pay for that accumulated lump sum.”
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.