Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is warning consumers who receive Medicaid to be wary of nursing homes or assisted living centers taking their CARES Act economic impact stimulus checks. Reports state that some Medicaid recipients were required to sign over their checks to the facility they're living in.
"If you or a relative are a Medicaid recipient living in a nursing home or assisted living center and you qualify for a CARES Act payment, be wary of attempts to take CARES Act payments using the Medicaid system as a guise," said Attorney General Schmitt. “Report any suspicious activity to the Missouri Attorney General's Office."
The Federal Trade Commission recently issued a warning along the same lines, urging Medicaid recipients in nursing homes, assisted living centers, or residential care facilities to be wary of where their CARES Act economic impact stimulus checks are being deposited.
The warning noted that some nursing homes or assisted living centers claim that the stimulus checks, “count as ‘resources’ under the rules of federal benefit programs that must be used to pay for services.”
In a separate blog post, the FTC notes that the CARES Act payments are classified as a tax credit, and thus don’t qualify as “resources” for federal benefits programs, like Medicaid.
The FTC also has a page dedicated to businesses that explains why CARES Act payments cannot be taken from Medicaid recipients as “resources”: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2020/05/nursing-homes-assisted-living-facilities-hands-residents
The Missouri Attorney General's Office has received several complaints related to this issue at nursing homes and assisted living centers, and urges anyone who may have had their CARES Act payment taken by their facility to call the Medicaid Fraud hotline at 800-286-3932 or file a complaint online at: https://ago.mo.gov/criminal-division/medicaid-fraud/medicaid-fraud-complaints.
Missourians can also file a complaint with the FTC here:https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/?utm_source=takeaction#crnt&panel1-1