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Duration of Stay Agreement

Dear Advocate,

My father is in a residential care facility and will need to enter a nursing home this month. We have found a facility we like, and they have given us a contract that guarantees we will pay privately for 6 months. It says that if we apply for Medi-Cal before then, it is grounds for eviction. Is this true?

Perplexed in Pismo

Dear Perplexed,

It is illegal for a Medicare or Medi-Cal certified facility to require a resident to pay privately for any set period of time. Federal law (42 CFR 483.12 (d)(ii)) states that a “facility must not require oral or written assurance that residents or potential residents are not eligible for or will not apply for, Medicare or Medicaid benefits.” Whenever your father does qualify for Medi-Cal, the nursing home may not seek to evict him for changing from private pay if the facility is Medi-Cal certified (Welfare & Institutions Code 14124.7).

Avoid signing such agreements before the resident has moved in. Once admitted, a resident cannot be evicted for refusing to sign a financial agreement.

Consult with your attorney or CANHR if a Medi-Cal certified nursing home is asking you to guarantee private payment.