An amendment to the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act will provide some clarity to nursing home residents and their families and perhaps some financial security as well. The amendment was recently signed into law by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.
The amendment states that nursing homes are obligated to provide a written statement explaining the financial obligation of the nursing home resident and their spouse or guardian. Specifically, it explains how the asset and income disclosure requirements of the Social Security Act relates to nursing home billing.
To understand the full impact of the bill, a rough understanding of the circumstances of nursing home admission is probably necessary.
Most people who are entering a nursing home are Medicare eligible, but Medicare only pays for a few months of nursing home care. Medicare is supposed to be a short term plan, not long term.
Often, a nursing home admission happens like this: A person living at home has an accident that has required some hospital care. After a week or two of hospital care, that person is transferred to a nursing home. When Medicare stops paying, the bills begin going to the resident.
This is where the trouble begins. In between Medicare and Medicaid, there is a period where the resident pays out of their own pocket. Nursing home care is expensive, often over $100 dollars a day or more. It doesn’t take long in many cases before the resident and their spouse are drained of their savings.
Medicaid then begins to pay for the nursing home care, but only if the proper forms and disclosures have been completed. Usually, they are filled out when the resident has just been admitted.
If these forms are not properly filled out, the nursing home will hold the family financially responsible.
If you have a loved one in an Illinois nursing home, and they have been the victim of nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect, contact my law offices for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.