Crawford Care Management

Maximizing Limited Financial Resources

Question:
My dad sold his home and recently moved into an extended care facility. The money made from the house sale will allow him to stay in his current residence for about four years. After that, his savings will be depleted. What will happen after he has no money? Will he have to be transferred to a state funded home and go on Medicaid? It breaks my heart that my dad could become impoverished, but I don’t make the kind of money needed to keep him in his current facility after he is penniless.

Answer:
The financial insecurity you describe is a common situation for many elderly citizens. Because Medicaid is administered on a state-by-state basis, there is no sweeping statistic regarding entitlement criteria or coverage availability. However, all states have a minimal amount of financial resources that an individual can keep while eligible for Medicaid benefits.

In your father’s case, with limited resources available, he may have to make another move. Although I don’t know the location of the facility he’s in now, I’m guessing it costs $2,500 to $3,500 a month. He probably has $120,000 to $160,000 available. He may be better served by moving to a continuing care community.

Typically, the resident “purchases” a home/apartment on campus. He or she pays a small monthly fee and is moved to a higher care-level residence on campus as needs increase. For example, your dad may start at the retirement facility setting and then move to assisted living, then after a few years, to skilled nursing. If his funds were depleted and there was no other source of funding for his care, the community’s social workers would apply for Medicaid on his behalf.

Although it is not a perfect solution, a continuing care community would eventually mean less disruption, more support, and an easy transition to additional care once his needs increase. You should be aware, however, should he move to such a facility and have to move to a higher-care setting, his apartment/home would return to the property of the community for resale and not to his estate.