Although many states have these types of laws on the books, when the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) passed in February of 2006, states and the federal government decided that it may be appropriate to consider attempting to enforce these laws. This is especially true when a person who applies for medical assistance under the Medicaid laws is denied benefits, possibly due to a transfer or other disqualifying gift.
In the current case, a woman had moved in to a rehabilitation facility following a car accident. She later moved to Greece without paying her bill for services at the facility.
Meantime, the nursing home took action by bringing a law suit against her son under Pennsylvania’s filial responsibility law.
Although a child may not be required to sign admissions paperwork and a financial responsibility form for their parent, the filial responsibility act provides long term care facilities with an option of looking to children for private payment, as opposed to accepting Medicaid payments.
The flood gates may be opening for additional litigation against children or step-children to support their older generation, and it seems that states are going to allow nursing homes to bring these actions.
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