By Jami Scott, Medicaid Specialist,
?Elder Law Associates PA
?It was Monday morning, and I had just sat down with my cup of coffee and was waiting for my computer to turn on, when my phone rang. It was John M. He was so worried about his meeting with us later that afternoon, as he knew he had his wife, Susan, to visit in the hospital, and timing is everything for her. While I offered to make his appointment a bit earlier, I realized that it wasn’t the time of the appointment that he was nervous about, it was the meeting itself.
You see, John had anxiety over allowing us to know how much money he and his wife had in their accounts. He was nervous that she would not qualify for any Medicaid benefits, and he was left feeling like he had to lose everything in order for her to be in a nursing home. Susan was no longer safe at home, and needed a secure facility that would keep her from wandering around the neighborhood, but at a private pay rate of $11,000 per month, he knew he would be out of money in no time. Where would that leave him? He is healthy and still wants to live at home, but feared what his future would hold.
John and Susan’s assets were over the $126,420 maximum that the Department of Children and Families (DCF) has set. When we realized this at our meeting, our attorney, Howard S. Krooks, CELA, CAP, calmly reassured John, and introduced the concept of “spousal refusal.” Of course, when John heard those words, he instantly went on the defense and stated he loved his wife, and did not want to refuse providing for her care. This happens a lot when spousal refusal is mentioned, but read on to learn what Howie explained to John. Read More