Can the nursing home come after me again for the difference between what Medicaid will pay and Mom's income?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 25, 2016
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My Mother is eligible for Medicaid beginning August 1, 2011 but the amount that her County worker states she is to pay is $762.00 more than her income. Since I signed the nursing home admission papers the nursing home went after me for $19,000.00 past due bills for Mom because of a penalty period. I am going to be making monthly payments to the nursing home for the next 8 years. It's unfortunate that no one told me I would be taking on financial responsibility by signing these papers, but I've resigned myself to this because they can't discharge my Mother. What I'm concerned about is can the nursing home come after me again for the difference between what Medicaid will pay and Mom's income -the $762.00? If so, will they be able to discharge Mom again because I can't afford to pay them anymore per month than I am now? Plus I have to pay back an attorney that costs $275.00 per hour. If the nursing home can go after me to pay these bills are there any options for me? Thank you so very much!

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

It sounds like you signed as financial guarantor when you signed the admission papers for the nursing home. If you did not, then the nursing home cannot come after you for your mother's bills.

I can't imagine why the County worker told you that your mother has to pay more than her income for Medicaid. The nursing home gets a fixed reimbursement from Medicaid. Medicaid pays the difference between your mother's income and the reimbursement rate. How much is your mother's income? What state does she live in?