MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Nursing Home Association is reacting after the state attorney general issued a warning to nursing homes Friday regarding the illegal seizure of residents’ federal CARES Act stimulus checks.
“We are now beginning to receive a few reports of concern that some Alabama nursing homes may be attempting to take stimulus checks from residents who are Medicaid recipients," Attorney General Steve Marshall said, warning that “if this is happening, it needs to stop now."
Marshall did not provide the names of any specific facilities where the practice may be happening, but in Alabama, the ANHA counts nearly all nursing homes, or around 94 percent, as members, and it wants to hear from the AG on the matter.
ANHA President and CEO Brandon Farmer said his association has been advising its members against such a practice since the stimulus payments were first announced, and said he’s unaware of an facility where this is happening.
Still, he’s urging the attorney general to share any details “so that we may clarify any misunderstanding that may exist,” and adding that ANHA is "ready to work with local, state and federal leaders to support Alabama’s nursing home residents and employees.”
There are some cases in which Medicaid recipients have to sign over resources, and those resources sometimes go to the nursing home where they live. But the COVID-19 stimulus checks approved by Congress are considered “tax credits” not “resources” for federal benefits programs.
“These stimulus checks are rightfully and legally the property of the residents and must be returned,” the AG stated.
Marshall is calling on residents and their families to remain vigilant that the money is not taken from them and added that reports of any illegal confiscation should be made to his Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at email@example.com or by calling 334-242-7300.