Ask Jennifer: Week ending 8/10

Posted at: 03/30/2010 2:51 PM
Updated at: 08/05/2014 7:21 AM

Dear Jennifer,

I thought nursing homes were supposed to take Medicaid. My father needs a nursing home and every one we toured said they don’t accept “Medicaid Pending” and another said they aren’t taking any Medicaid residents right now. We’re scared. He’s in the hospital and they are pushing him out. We don’t want him to go to a nursing home on the other side of the county or one that’s a dump. We tried calling the Medicaid office to see if we could start him on Medicaid now. The lady said he can’t apply for Medicaid until he’s in the nursing home. We called an attorney and she said the same thing. So how do we find a decent nursing home for him? This is ridiculous. He’s our dad. What can we do?

Yours Truly,

Dear Irene,

You need an advocate to explain all of this to you and optimize your chances of getting your Dad accepted in a nursing home you like. Sometimes, it is a matter of:

1. Transferring gift money or trust money back to your father for the nursing home. (I don’t know if this applies to you.)
2. Obtaining community Medicaid before applying to a nursing home.
3. Hiring an attorney or Medicaid professional to “pre-approve” your dad for “chronic” or “nursing home” Medicaid. (Sometimes a new applicant for Chronic Medicaid is turned down due to a technicality and the nursing home isn’t paid. The endorsement or pre-approval states that your dad’s situation was reviewed and will meet all the criteria for acceptance.
With the right strategy, you will be able to get your dad placed nicely. In the end, if you “must” send him to a nursing home that was not on your preferred list, you can try to transfer him to another after the Medicaid kicks in. Call my office if there are questions. Good luck.