When Nursing Home Medicaid eligibility has been established there is an amount of income that the nursing home resident must pay directly to the nursing home. After that amount is paid Medicaid picks up the difference in that personal liability and the nursing home Medicaid rate for room and board.
Before paying the personal liability Medicaid will allow the resident to keep:
- The personal needs allowance of $30 per month;
- The spousal minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance (enough money to bring the income of the spouse at home up to $2178);
- Family maintenance needs allowance (a similar allowance for minor or dependent adult child, a dependent parent or a dependent sibling of either spouse);
- Costs of necessary medical or remedial care not covered by a third party (e.g. Medicare Part B premium).
These allowances are made to the extent the resident’s income can cover them. It is entirely possible for the patient to exhaust his or her income before paying any personal liability at all to the nursing home.
It is important to remember that during the time a Medicaid application is pending the resident should pay the estimated personal liability or risk receiving a bill for this amount from the nursing home. After eligibility is established Medicaid will publish the exact personal liability to use.