If you want the state to pay for your nursing home care, you must:
If you are unable to pay for care because of financial difficulties, you can apply for financial hardship assistance from the Government. If your application is successful, the Government will lower your accommodation costs.
Illinois’ Medicaid program, administered through the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, pays for home care and has other programs for in home supports if people meet eligibility requirements. Prior approval is required for Medicaid home care services and home care equipment (durable medical equipment).
In short, yes. In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Medicaid will pay for nursing home care for those persons who require that level of care and meet the program’s financial eligibility requirements.
A nursing home doesn’t take all of your money the second you walk through the door. Nursing homes do cost a tremendous amount of money – often over $200 a day – so, eventually, a person may end up paying all of his money to the nursing home, if he lives long enough in the nursing home.
This means that, in most cases, a nursing home resident can keep their residence and still qualify for Medicaid to pay their nursing home expenses. The nursing home doesn’t (and cannot) take the home. But neither the government nor the nursing home will take your home as long as you live.
How to Protect Your Assets from Nursing Home Costs
The state of Illinois has a program that allows a family member to get paid to help take care of an elderly family member. The Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Program is designed to help older adults live independently.
Typically, the daily rate for most home care agencies ranges from $200 to about $350 per day. This, of course, is dependent on the cost of living within your given region as well as the amount of specialized care that you need as a client.
According to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, seniors in Illinois pay an average of $6,235 a month for nursing home care in a semi-private room and $7,026 for a private room.
Home care is more affordable that many realize, as 49% overestimated the cost by more than $6 an hour, a recent Home Instead Senior Care poll shows. On the other hand, the average yearly cost of nursing home care is $70,000—nearly 75% more than home health care.
Medicare covers up to 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) each benefit period. If you need more than 100 days of SNF care in a benefit period, you will need to pay out of pocket. If your care is ending because you are running out of days, the facility is not required to provide written notice.
This amount varies by state, so contact your local Medicaid office to learn more. You will have to pay the remainder of your income to the nursing home. In most states, Institutional Medicaid has a look-back period of up to five years.
Neither the state nor the federal government has any particular requirements about how the Social Security check gets to the nursing home. In that case, the check could come to the resident or the spouse in the community and they would be responsible for paying the balance to the nursing home.
The basic rule is that all your monthly income goes to the nursing home, and Medicaid then pays the nursing home the difference between your monthly income, and the amount that the nursing home is allowed under its Medicaid contract. Medicaid also allows a few other exceptions.
The general rule is that if a senior applies for Medicaid, is deemed otherwise eligible but is found to have gifted assets within the five-year look-back period, then they will be disqualified from receiving benefits for a certain number of months. This is referred to as the Medicaid penalty period.