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Medicare, MassHealth and Monetary gifts

When someone has to enter a nursing home, we want Medicare to pay up to the 100-day maximum for rehabilitation. To the surprise of most people, the average length of Medicare rehab coverage is only 18 days. Why? Because a professional has decided that Medicare intervention is no longer helping the patient. When Medicare coverage ends, the patient has three choices: 1) leave the facility and go home or some other place; or, 2) pay privately at the nursing home - the rate is approximately $390/day; or, 3) apply for MassHealth benefits to pay the nursing home bill. If the patient chooses the third option, any monetary gifts made by the patient to people (other than the spouse) within the previous five years must be paid back to the patient. This is called “The Cure.” BEWARE: the $15,000 gift per beneficiary per year your CPA may have told you it’s “okay” to pay? This is NOT okay as far as MassHealth is concerned.