Medicaid 101: How to Pay for a Nursing Home

There are basically three ways to fund long-term skilled nursing care in a nursing home:

  1. Private Pay – Pay out of your own assets and income.  If your income exceeds the monthly private pay rate charged at the facility, you will not be eligible for Medicaid benefits.  The private pay rate is the highest rate.
  2. Long-term Care Insurance – Purchase a long-term care policy of insurance.  Premiums for such policies start at more than $200 per month and usually require a waiting period before benefits will be paid.  If admission is imminent, it is too late to purchase such a policy.
  3. Medicaid – Medicaid consists of federal monies distributed to the states.  Each state administers the funds it receives according to its own rules.  Medicaid is a means-tested benefit which means that you will not be eligible if you have more than a certain amount of assets or income.  In General, a patient is eligible in Michigan if they have not more than:
    • One motor vehicle
    • One house worth not more than $585,000.  This limit does not apply if the patient’s spouse or a blind, disabled, under-21-year-old child lives there
    • Pre-paid funeral goods and services not exceeding $12,770
    • A very small life insurance policy
    • $2,000 in cash or on deposit

There are many factors that determine whether each of these criteria are met.  Your circumstance is unique.  Don’t guess! Make an appointment to review all your details for precise advice.

Note:  These guidelines are established by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and are subject to change.

Leave a Reply