So today I get a call from the social worker at Dad’s nursing home. She wants to talk about the “balance.”
I ask, “What balance? I thought Medicare and his secondary insurance were still paying, plus I haven’t received a bill from you.”
She sez, “You have to spend down his money.”
I sez, “At this time, the lawyer is negotiating with the landlord about the $11k that the landlord is demanding as the full amount of his year’s lease, so I’m waiting on that.”
She sez, “Rent is not spend down, only medical bills.”
I sez, “I’ve paid all bills that have come in from doctors and hospitals. The PA Medicaid lady said that I could use his money for the rent.”
She sez, “I’ve never heard of that being allowed.”
I sez, “She told you that last month and I told you that and you asked me to call her for clarification, which I did and she said, “Pay the rent.”
She sez, “Pennsylvania holds the children financially responsible for the parents.”
I sez, “What? That’s insane!”
but it is true…
Apparently, Pennsylvania is one of 30 states in our fair Union that hold adult children responsible for their indigent parents. Now, from the word “indigent” we might think, “Well, my parents have a pension so they are not indigent.”
it ain’t necessarily so….
Indigent, in this context means that the income is less than the expenses. So my dad gets just under $2k a month from his pension and Social Security combined, but the nursing home charges $7k a month, therefore, he’s indigent and I, as his adult child can be held responsible for the balance. And in PA, the nursing homes will sue the children for payment when Medicaid refuses to pay. For example, Medicaid will refuse to pay in instances where the parent may have gifted the child money. So if the parent gave the kid $10k, according to Medicaid (in PA, your state may vary), the child owes 3 months worth of care to the nursing home before Medicaid will pay.
And if the child refuses?
Up to 6 months in prison.
nota bene: i know the 3 months thing doesn’t compute, but somehow, the complicated formula that is used seems to hold children responsible for more than what is due. This may be incorrect on my part, but, you all get the drift. They want not only your money, but your hide.
ETA: the welfare lady changed her mind and said i can’t use the money for rent. i have to fill out a “hardship” form to be sent to harrisburg to