MaineCare decides when to pay for long term nursing care based on 3 rules.
Rule 1: Whether you have a “medical need”
Having a medical need means you need help with personal care such as walking, eating, getting into bed and bathing. If you call the State, MaineCare will send a nurse to decide if you have a medical need for MaineCare.
Rule 2: Whether you have a “ﬁnancial need”
Having a financial need means that your total monthly income is less than the cost of nursing care for a month. And you don’t have enough savings to pay for your care. See more details below about how much cash and property you are still allowed to keep.
Rule 3: Whether you have given away any of your property or assets within the past ﬁve years
When you apply for help with nursing costs, MaineCare looks at your ﬁnancial records to determine if you have made any “disqualifying transfers.” MaineCare will look back five years, and if you had given any money or property away in those five years, MaineCare will determine an ineligibility period based on the average cost of care in a nursing home. The penalty would begin on the date of the transfer.
The rules are complex and they change often. It is not a good idea to give property away and then apply for MaineCare without consulting an attorney. Before you give away any of your property, call the Legal Services for the Elderly Helpline at 1-800-750-5353.