Paying price for helping son

  • Article by: WARREN WOLFE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 30, 2011 - 7:01 AM

A challenge to a new Medicaid rule could affect thousands of Minnesotans.

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GolfGuy81Nov. 29, 11 9:51 PM

Sounds like a dialed in family from a financial standpoint.

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schaferltcNov. 29, 1111:35 PM

So, what's a sensible solution? It's pretty obvious, reduce public LTC dependency and cost by targeting scarce government resources to those most in need while incentivizing everyone else to plan early and save, invest or insure for long-term care. Make sure there are no ways to escape personal responsibility for LTC. Let home owners pay for in-home care with reverse mortgages. Let them pay for institutional care by sale of the home or through estate recovery. If heirs want to preserve their inheritances, let them find ways to pay for their parents LTC. Such policies would take the financial burden off government and transfer it to individuals, families, and inheritors where it belongs and where it provides a strong incentive to prepare responsibly for LTC.

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mnmaggiemnNov. 30, 1112:01 AM

I think if you can afford to give your family an early inheritence, there is no reason you shouldnt be able to finacially care for yourself. Sounds mean but if we allow it, many people who believe they are entitiled will take advantage even though they have the money. I agree, there are options for reverse mortgage and other ways to pay for care. I know some people dont have houses they own or really dont have the finances but people who do should not be allowed to swindle the government by giving money to their families. Its just another form of fraud.

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purlieuNov. 30, 11 6:06 AM

To summarize, she is being penalized for helping a son and he owes her $4,750. Her daughter is caring for her in her home, but has health issues of her own. What would have happened if instead of helping her son, she would have spent $12,000 putting coins in the slots at a casino like so many people do? Is the government tracking that or is that an appropriate use of a retired person's funds.

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godiveNov. 30, 11 7:22 AM

I heard far too many accounts of people giving money to their kids because government will pay for the LTC. Time to STOP this by setting limits to giving or stop paying for elderly care.

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UMD1983Nov. 30, 11 8:12 AM

We'll see more and more of this as the Boomers age. The lesson for the young (if you can get them to heed it) is that you'd better start saving from the time you make your first dollar, because it will become progressively more difficult to provide for the elderly as time goes on. More people will have to live in multi-generational households (this is already starting to happen), and family, for better or for worse, will have to provide more of the care and support required by their parents. It just won't be possible to pay for long term nursing home care for an increasingly elderly population that lives for longer and longer periods in decrepitude without bankrupting the country. The days of mom & dad getting first-rate care on the government's dime are going to disappear in a hurry, and if we're not prepared, everyone will suffer.

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william2mnNov. 30, 11 8:16 AM

Wonderful to see that the government is finding the time and resources to go after middle class America while the bankers and government officials who brought us to the brink of financial collapse through their scams and practices are allowed to walk away with their ill gotten gains while the rest of us get to pay for their failings... I think that there are likely many cases of people giving away money and then asking taxpayers to foot the bill for care but this doesn't seem to be one of those over the top cases. Might I suggest we expend some resources going after the big fish who truly screw us and then go after the little fish as time permits.

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reasonsNov. 30, 11 9:15 AM

Ok what a minute… the $17,000 original loan. We all know while this woman was working or her husband was working they were saving that money so that in the event of their health failing they have a nest egg to support them. So if she can give gifts like this to her son’s family why can’t they taking care of this long term care cost themselves? I had seen how the greed of family hurt the elderly in their most fragile state of life. Her doctor said she no longer can live alone. While know it’s time for all her children not just the daughter to step up and take care of the cost of their mother right…Not take the repaid amount to fail for bankruptcy and place balm on the sons wife layoff for financial woos This story should not be Paying the price for helping son it should be “I am self-effacing in need of assistance from Medicaid, called Medical Assistance in Minnesota.

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marathongirlNov. 30, 11 9:27 AM

Here is the thing...inheritance is there if the parents die without having spent the money they have. End of story. You shouldn't expect to inherit from your parents, it should be expected that they will probably spend it (unless you are from a family of wealth). I don't expect anything when my parents die. My dad told me long ago he and mom plan to spend every dime. And I'm fine with that. I can take care of myself, but at the same time, their money should be what can support them (or the medicaid they have paid in on) for long term care if they end up not being able to take care of themselves.

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winnerieNov. 30, 1110:29 AM

I'm guessing that mom had the funds and better health at age 79 and there was a reasonable expectation that the son would repay her (he's already repaid $12,250 of the $17,000). It might have been almost everything she had. I have to say $17000 isn't going to cover long term care for very long anyway. I say let her have her medicaid coverage and set up a repayment plan to the state from the son for the remaining amount due. Then again, there's no papework on the loan. To truly be considered a gift, would he really have made payments back to his mother, which could probably be tracked through bank statements. Gifts are not repaid--loans are.

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