Can you be forced to pay Mom or Dad’s Nursing Home Bill? | Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

Can you be forced to pay Mom or Dad’s Nursing Home Bill?

This may not be as unlikely as you think!  A recent article in Forbes highlighted this issue.  To view the entire article goes to: http://www.forbes.com/sites/northwesternmutual/2014/02/03/who-will-pay-for-moms-or-dads-nursing-home-bill-filial-support-laws-and-long-term-care/.

One of the byproducts of new medical technology is longer life expectancies.   In the past a stroke, heart attack or cancer may have killed us.  Now with new medical advances treatments are available to help us recover from these illnesses.  That is the good news. The bad news is that as a result of living longer, Long Term Care expenses for many families have increased dramatically over the last few years.   The question is “Who pays for this care?”

You could be held legally responsible for your parent’s care if you live in one of the 29 states that have filial laws on the books (PA, NJ and DE do).  New case law in Pennsylvania makes children legally responsible for the cost of care of a parent even if there was no attempt to divert or hide their parent’s assets.  In 2012 the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld a lower court ruling (Health Care & Retirement Corporation vs. Pittas) that allowed a nursing home to obtain payment from the son of Maryann Pittas for her nearly $93,000 nursing home bill after she relocated to Greece with her unpaid bill. This decision came down despite the fact that the son made no attempt to hide or divert his mother’s assets.

There are some provisions in the law to protect adult children from paying for a parent’s nursing home bill.  The PA Statute states “a child shall not be liable for the support of a parent who abandoned the child and persisted in the abandonment for a period of 10 years during the child’s minority.” Other defenses include the inability to pay for the care and evidence of neglect or abuse.  I suggest you review this article so you understand your risk.

I mention this article because we do have solutions for you to consider.  Long Term Care Insurance has changed dramatically over the last few years.  Check out page four of this newsletter to see the different options available to you.  Don’t put yourself or your children at risk.  Talk to us today about possible solutions to this problem.

Don’t get caught up in the law or worry that you may be forced to pay for a parent’s nursing home bill.  Call us today at 215-885-2200 to learn more about your options.

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