SENIORS ARTICLE – WHEN CAN CAN AN ADULT CHILD BE LIABLE FOR A PARENT’S NURSING HOME BILL (IMPORTANT INFO TO KNOW)
A nursing home cannot require a child to be personally liable for their parent’s nursing home bill, there are circumstances in which the adult children can end up paying. ALWAYS…..read CAREFULLY any Admissions Agreement carefully before signing.
Federal regulations prevent a nursing home from requiring a “third party” to be personally liable as a condition of admission. However, children of nursing home admission agreement as the “responsible party.” This is confusing and not always clear from the contract what it actually means.
Typically, the responsible party is agreeing to do everything in their power to make sure the resident pays the nursing home from the resident’s funds. If the resident runs out of funds, the “responsible party” may be required to apply for MEDICAID on the resident’s behalf. If the responsible party does not follow through on applying for Medicaid or provide the state with all the information needed to determine Medicaid eligibility, the nursing home may sue the responsible party for breach of contract. If a responsible party misuses a resident’s funds instead of paying the resident’s bill, the nursing home may also sue the responsible party. In both of these circumstances, the responsible party may end up paying the nursing home out of their own funds.
FYI: When working with my clients (or their responsible party), we always look at their income and when that income may run out – months before as that gives us time to work with the nursing home and apply for Medicaid (if the patient meets the Medicaid guidelines). (Brenda – The Next Horizon)
Although it is AGAINST the law to REQUIRE the adult child (children) to sign an admission agreement as the person who guarantees payment, it is important to read the contract carefully as some nursing homes still have language in their contract that violates the agreement. If possible, consult with your attorney before signing an admission agreement.
BRENDA DEVER-ARMSTRONG, CEO/OWNER/CSA
THE NEXT HORIZON SENIORS & MILITARY ADVOCATE/RESOURCES
*excerpt for this article provided by Todd Marquardt, Marquardt Law Firm, San Antonio, TX