Many family members provide heroic care to loved ones who due to illness or dementia can no longer live on their own. Often a frail elder will pay the family member for this care. This may be what permits the caregiver to give up work outside the home or during this recession it simply helps the caregiver to keep food on the table and a roof over his or her family's heads.
Unfortunately, MassHealth looks askance at these arrangements, usually deeming the payments to be a gift to the caregiver causing up to five years of ineligibility for MassHealth nursing home coverage.
Often such denials are overturned on appeal, but the process can be long, uncertain, expensive and stressful.
Now, Rep. Kay Kahn and Sen. Mark Montigny have introduced a bill to require MassHealth to honor these arrangements. (H.B. 544; S.B. 299) It includes a provision permitting lump sum advance payments for future caregiver services under certain circumstances.
To support this bill, call your state senator or representative. Click here for a list of members and their contact information.