Mom’s in rehab at a nursing home. We just got a bill for $10,000! Options?

Long H. Duong, Esq. Elder Law

Medicaid Eligibility for nursing home

This is a very common hypothetical for clients seeking assistance for long term care or “unexpected” overstays at long term care facilities such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centers:

My mother is in a rehab center after breaking her hip. Turns out she’ll have to stay longer but it’s going to cost her $10,000 a month minimum. Medicare won’t cover the cost anymore. She’s afraid it will deplete her life savings and that she’ll need to sell her house. Do we have any options?

The answer is maybe and leaning towards probably.

Long term care is very expensive but you don’t have to be dirt poor to get help.


First – DO NOT RUSH TO SELL THE HOUSE. In nearly all cases, the home can be kept and protected. There are a number of strategies that your mother can employ to leverage her ability to qualify for certain benefits and reduce, perhaps significantly, how much she might have to pay out of pocket. But it’s critical that she act as soon as possible.

Find an Elder Law Attorney (asap)

Elder law attorneys can help you preserve your savings, your assets… your legacy through the use of very precise, deliberate planning all within the parameters set forth by the various available public assistance options such as Medicaid. You don’t have to be dirt poor to explore these options and these eligibility techniques are widely accepted by benefit agencies.

Even if Spouse is Wealthy…

There are also options available where one spouse is considerably more wealthy than the other spouse – no matter which spouse is looking for aid – or where there are willing and able family members who will step forward and take over the reins as caregiver (not to be confused with actual in home nursing).

Return on Investment

This is not inexpensive planning, but the overall savings and preservation of mom’s significant assets far outweigh the expense of the advice and work required.