When Medicare Runs Out

Book An Initial Call Now
POSTED ON: February 5, 2023

When Medicare Runs Out, Who Pays the Bills? Many families will face the reality that at some point an aging family member must go to a nursing home, also called “rehab”. They provide things assisted living homes aren’t licensed to give, such as skilled care. For instance, an aging parent has surgery and needs therapy during the recovery period. They’re sent from the hospital to a nursing home where therapy is offered, explains Forbes’ recent article entitled “Paying For Nursing Homes: Beware Of Illegal Debt Collection Practices.”

The cost of a long-term nursing home stay, beyond the allowable maximum under Medicare of 100 days, is usually a surprise. According to the annual Genworth cost of care study, and adjusting for inflation, in 2021, the annual median cost of a single room in a nursing home was $108,405.

The CFPB analyzed the risks to family caregivers and friends who enter into contracts for a loved one’s admission to a nursing home. Although it’s illegal, some nursing homes continue the practice of making admission of the senior dependent on the caregiver or other signing a contract making the caregiver the “responsible party”. It forces the family with the immediate need of placing the loved one into the home to sign whatever it takes to get them admitted.

After that, the nursing home can go after the signer to collect the debt for payment after the elder’s Medicare runs out, or the elder’s own funds are depleted. Some residents have run of out funds and have applied for Medicaid. However, processing those applications can take months. All the while, the debt grows for essential care. Some of these nursing homes send the bills to collection agencies, report the unpaid debts to credit reporting agencies and even file lawsuits against the unwitting signatories on those coerced admission contracts. The nursing home’s initial contract and their debt collection practices are illegal under federal law.

When Medicare Runs Out, Who Pays the Bills?- The Law Offices of Claude S. Smith, III

If your loved one must go to a nursing home or “rehab facility”, never sign anything that indicates you’re the legal representative or responsible party. Don’t submit to pressure tactics, if someone wants to force you to sign such a contract. If you encounter these tactics, tell them that it’s illegal under the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act.

Do your research before your loved one must enter such a home for any reason. You may not have much notice but ask to see their admission contract ahead of time. If you see these types of clauses in it about being responsible for the resident’s bills, look elsewhere.

Finally, seek the advice of an elder law attorney for any nursing home or other care contract you don’t understand. These contracts can be full of pitfalls, and the unsuspecting can be caught up in an illegally created trap. An elder law attorney can help you through your decision-making process.

When Medicare Runs Out, Who Pays the Bills?- The Law Offices of Claude S. Smith, III

Reference: Forbes (Sep. 13, 2022) “Paying For Nursing Homes: Beware Of Illegal Debt Collection Practices”

Let Us Help You Through This

Reach Out Now

What Sets Us Apart
We understand this process can be difficult. We ease you through it with your best interest in mind.

Legal problems are extremely stressful, especially when your family, your health, or your freedom are at stake. At this point in time, you may not even be sure what kinds of questions you need to ask a lawyer, but that’s entirely normal. Whether your situation involves family law, estate planning, elder law, a criminal charge, or a personal injury, we will start by giving you all the information you need.

The way we see it, you deserve to get this information directly from an expert. That’s why we make it easy for you to get in touch with your lawyer, and we never ask you to sit down with a paralegal or assistant instead.

As our relationship continues, we will keep you updated about the status of your case every step of the way. Your lawyer will reach out regularly to tell you about any new developments, and he will also be happy to answer any questions you have throughout the process.

Join Our eNewsletter

Stay informed and updated by subscribing to our eNewsletter!
Subscribe Now!
Law Offices of Claude S. Smith, III

805 Bigley Avenue
Charleston, WV 25302

Get Directions
Integrity Marketing Solutions - Estate Planning Marketing
Powered by