Mom's assets do not cover unpaid bills. Will this disqualify her for Medicaid?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 18, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Mom has ignored bill collectors calls, etc. for past bills. Now she cannot live along because she has dementia. Her assets are not enough to cover all her bills. Will this disqualify her for Medicaid?

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for

Many seniors fall into debt over past bills. Having unpaid bills will not disqualify her from Medicaid. If she needs to spend down to get below the Medicaid limit on assets, paying off some of the bills can expedite her eligibility. If she is already financially eligible for Medicaid, there is not much else to do. If the bill collectors call you, tell them that your mother has dementia, is on Medicaid and has no assets. They may ask you to put in writing.