– Legislation to provide a standard notice to each nursing home resident and their designated representatives at the time of their admission, authored by Rep. Tim Bonner (R-Mercer/Butler), has passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. This letter would state their option of having legal representation available to assist with the application for Medicaid benefits.
“When a loved one enters a nursing home, much confusion and concern exists regarding social adjustment, medical care, financial costs and asset protection,” said Bonner. “A key concern for all nursing home residents and their families is protecting assets acquired over a lifetime of working that can quickly dissipate in paying the high costs for skilled nursing home care. Medicaid can assist in the payment of these costs and does allow for the protection of assets if appropriate strategies are followed.”
Nursing home employees and non-legal agencies are often providing direction and assistance to nursing home residents and their families in deciding how much of their personal assets should be spent or whether or not to apply for Medicaid assistance to pay the nursing home costs. Non-legal providers are often unfamiliar with the regulations, complexities and strategies of Medicaid eligibility rules and laws and are not permitted by law to draft deeds, trusts or estate planning documents necessary to implement the strategies. Not receiving advice from a professional trained in this area of the law can result in serious financial consequences for the nursing home resident and his or her family members.
House Bill 1693
now awaits consideration by the Senate.