|Nursing Home Resident Trust Funds|
What is a Resident Trust Fund?
A resident trust fund is money held by the nursing home for a resident of the facility.
Can my nursing home require me to set up a trust fund?
State and federal laws give you the right to manage your own financial affairs. Nursing homes have no right to manage, use or dispose of your money. If you need help managing your funds, the nursing home is required to explain available options including a trust fund.
If I want the nursing home to manage my funds, does it have to set up a resident trust fund for me?
Yes, if you want the nursing home to manage your funds, it is required to set up a trust fund for you.
Do resident trust funds earn interest?
Yes. If you live in a Medicare or Medicaid approved nursing home, the nursing home must deposit any of your funds above $50 in an interest bearing account. The account must be separate from the facility's own funds. Up to $50 of your funds may be held in a non-interest bearing account or petty-cash fund by the nursing home. Amounts greater than $50 must be placed in an interest bearing account.
Can the nursing home use my funds without my permission?
The nursing home cannot spend your funds unless you give specific permission for each use. If you have given someone else permission to act on your behalf, this person can authorize the nursing home to release some or all of your funds.
You have the right to appoint a "patient representative" to help manage your personal or financial affairs. The nursing home should give you information about how to appoint a patient representative.
Will I get reports on money in my resident trust fund?
Yes. The nursing home must let you remove funds held in a petty cash fund by the facility anytime during normal business hours. If the facility is holding your funds in an account outside of the home, it must give you any or all of your funds within three business days of your request. The nursing home must also return your funds within three business days if you are discharged from the home.
Nursing homes must give the administrator of a resident's estate a written accounting of the resident's personal belongings and funds within ten business days of the resident's death.
Are there other requirements on resident trust funds?
Medicare and Medicaid approved nursing homes must tell you if your trust fund gets within $200 of the resource limit for the Medicaid program. If this happens, the nursing home must tell you that if you go over the resource limit, you may lose eligibility for the Medicaid program.
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