Medicaid Mistakes: The Spend-Down

Sometimes doing nothing costs more than making a wise initial investment. This is often the case with families that have a loved one in a nursing home and try to navigate the Medicaid process on their own without a Woodlands Medicaid Attorney. What is the worst that can happen, right? You might be surprised at how big a mistake this can be.

If your loved one in a Houston nursing home (or any Texas nursing home) applies for Medicaid benefits while their assets exceed the eligibility limit the HHSC will deny the application and you will probably be told to “spend-down” to a certain amount. This is where the wrong move can be very expensive because you can either spend-down and make the nursing home rich or you can make some strategic moves and protect as many resources for the family as legally possible. When there is a spouse at home involved this can be the difference between financial security and financial devastation.

How come the HHSC and social workers don’t tell you about this option? The answer is simple: because they don’t have to. Any obligation they have to you does not include protecting your assets and when they tell you to “spend-down” they are technically correct, but your Medicaid Attorney is here to show you the alternatives they don’t want to talk about.

Back to my original question: what is the worst that can happen for families that try to navigate the system themselves? Most of the families that tried to do it themselves before calling me end up with anywhere from 3-5 months of nursing home bills ($13,000 and up) not covered by Medicaid as well as spending every last dime to pay the nursing home leaving them with next to nothing to get the legal help they need to sort out this mess. Don’t let this happen to you. Call me at (832) 592-7913 today because odds are you already spent more than you needed to.

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