Will Medicaid or Medicare pay for indigent health care?

4 answers | Last updated: Dec 03, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Will Medicaid or Medicare pay for my indigent father's health care and nursing home bills?

Expert Answers

The short answer is, Medicare  won’t but Medicaid will.

Medicare Part A only pays a limited amount for nursing facility care for a short period, and only under special circumstances. Medicare covers only medical care in a skilled nursing facility following a minimum three-day hospital stay, and only for as long as the patient needs daily skilled medical care or therapy. It does not cover what’s called “custodial care,” meaning long-term residence in a nursing home.

If your father qualifies for Medicaid, on the other hand, it can cover the full cost of his nursing home bills. (Be aware, though, that many nursing facilities have only a limited number of beds for Medicaid-pay residents.) Medicaid can keep paying for as long as he lives in a nursing facility. To qualify for Medicaid, he must have a very low income and few assets. You can find specific information about Medicaid eligibility and nursing home coverage for your father's state online at the Medicaid/Medicare section of the federal government's "govbenefits" web site.

Community Answers

Oilsunandsurf4me@yah answered...

my roomate has been informed he has active hep. c and surrosise of the liver. he has had a tube incerted in his abdomen for draining by cathter and cannot do this by himself i make and take him to doctors appt. grocerey store whereever he needs to go. he has been notifed hes got 6 months to live and i basiclly believe in miricals and wont give in that easy. i have a five yr old daughter and am currently on welfare. my plans for school and a job have more or less been put on the back burner, but i have been told by friends that i can get paid for my services. my roomate his brother his brothers son myself and my daughter currently share a 3 bedroom apt. my daughter and i have a makeshift room in the living room the roomate with cancer of the liver has not worked and is now on ssi and we also finally got medical pushed threw. ive been handeling all his appt and paperwork because he is very confused and not doing so well fast. if it is possible to get paid for careing for my roomate it would really help my daughter and sewlf out alot we live in oceanside california

Karenlorenzo answered...

The government has programs to help people with their long-term care expenses, however, you must meet certain qualifications to be eligible. With medicare, it only covers 100 days of skilled care and not long-term care, it only covers the first 20 days and in the remaining 80 days, a co-payment is required. Medicaid on the other hand covers long-term care, but you must be poor enough to qualify. In addition, medicaid has an asset recovery program which may allow to government to take the care recipients house or properties as soon as they pass away. Long-term care insurance, as discussed in infolongtermcare.org provides coverage for your long-term care needs, however, you need to buy it before the need for care arises. There are other government programs like PACE, but the applicant should be a resident in the service area of PACE. There is also the VA long-term care programs if your father is a veteran.

Agapaho1 answered...

I know this answer is late but I hope it helps. You can apply as an "In Home Support Service Worker" for him at the San Diego County Regional Center (They have a North County office too). http://www.dds.ca.gov/SupportSvcs/IHSS......OR.....call, California Department of Developmental Services Community Services Division Programs and Policy Branch (916) 654-2140 Here is a excerpt from their website: "IN-HOME SUPPORT SERVICES" In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) provides personal care and domestic services to persons who are aged, blind or disabled and who live in their own homes. IHSS is provided to those who otherwise might be placed in an out-of-home care facility but who can safely remain in their own home if IHSS services are received. Regional centers have a mandate not only to serve persons with developmental disabilities, but to provide services in the most cost-effective manner possible. They are required by the Lanterman Act to use all other sources of funding and services before using regional center funds to provide services. Persons who receive services from a regional center and are eligible for IHSS are expected to use IHSS services available to them. The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program is administered by each county with oversight by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). For application and eligibility information contact your local county welfare department, adult services section. Look for them in the county government section of your local telephone directory.