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In Michigan what assets are taken if Mom goes to a nursing home?

My mom has an annuity and a small money market account, a car and a home that's paid for. She has Alzheimer's and I have heard from various people here in Michigan that if she needs to go to a nursing home, they would look back so many years at her finances to see what was spent and may take all of her assets. Is this true and exactly what would they be looking for (dollar amounts spent, etc.)? What would I need in the way of receipts? What happens if their criteria isn't met?
Status: Open    Oct 05, 2015 - 07:29 AM

Finance, Medicare/Medicaid

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Expert Answers

Oct 07, 2015 - 12:36 PM

The amounts vary by state but all states have limits and the limits are low. In Alabama, for instance, she can keep her car, a prepaid burial and $2,000. The house would have to be sold and the money spent properly. Some states allow the house to be exempt. The money market account would have to be spent down below the Medicaid limit for Michigan. The annuity would probably be considered income and the monthly amount would be paid to the nursing home. All states have a 5 year look-back period. Any uncompensated transfers (gifts) during the 5 years would result in a penalty (money the nursing home would not be paid). Also, all major transactions such as a vehicle sale or purchase, home sale or expenses over $1,000 will probably be scrutinized. All deposits other than regular monthly income will have to be explained and documented.
You should find an estate planning attorney right away. There are many things that can be done to conserve your mother's resources and possibly provide benefits to the family. If the Medicaid criteria are not met Medicaid will not pay the nursing home bill. Find help soon. It is a difficult task you will be glad you got assistance.


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