At-Home Spouses Should Obtain Legal Advice When Applying for MassHealth to Cover Nursing Home Costs for Their Spouses

In a recent 2010 Massachusetts case, a wife didn’t obtain timely MassHealth approval to cover her husband’s nursing home bills, and ended up being sued by the nursing home.  Even though she had not signed anything at the nursing home that would cause her to be financially responsible for his bills, she still lost the case and had to pay $45,243.24 to the nursing home out of her own pocket.  Why?  Under Massachusetts law, spouses are financially responsible for “necessaries” for their spouses, and this case makes it clear that nursing home bills are considered necessaries under Massachusetts law.  For more information, or to read the case yourself, go to Are You Personally Responsible for Your Spouse’s Nursing Home Bills in Massachusetts?

There is an official way to refuse to cooperate with the MassHealth application process, but unfortunately the wife in this case didn’t handle matters correctly.  In most cases, by making the right moves, the at-home spouse can keep all the assets anyway, so timely cooperation usually makes sense.  For more information about how the at-home spouse can keep all the assets, go to Preserving Assets and Maximum Income for the Healthier Spouse When the Other Spouse Enters a Nursing Home

1 Comment

  1. As we’re on At-Home Spouses Should Obtain Legal Advice When Applying for MassHealth to Cover Nursing Home Costs for Their Spouses Massachusetts Client Alerts, Remember that if you are selecting a health care facility or care method for a loved one, you need to be realistic. It can be hard to accurately view the health needs of a parent or relative since you want to think they are capable and in good health. But ignoring the needs of certain medical conditions, whether the wandering tendencies of an Alzheimer’s patient or the tremors of a person with Parkinson’s can actually do them harm.

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