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Why YOU Should Be Outraged over Florida's Waiting List!

Florida's LTC waiting list

Recently we received a call from a very anxious out-of-town daughter looking for help to find an assisted living facility for her 78-year old Mom.   After several emergency room visits the doctor let Mom know it was unsafe for her to live alone and highly recommended she move to an assisted living facility.  Daughter reported Mom’s income is $900.00/month and she has one bank account with $12,000.  Mom’s home has a small mortgage and her equity is approximately $30,000.

Helping the daughter calculate how much Mom can spend each month is difficult to calculate since there is no way of knowing how long Mom may need the assisted living care.  It’s even harder to find a facility in the Pinellas County area that charges less than $2,500 per month that you or I would want to live in.  Unfortunately there is no quick fix for this predicament.

Nursing home care is a Medicaid entitlement program in the state of Florida.  What does that mean?  If a physician certifies you need the level of care a nursing home provides and your income and assets fall within the program limits, Medicaid must pay the nursing home after you have paid them your income each month.  The average monthly cost of nursing home care according the State of Florida is $8,346.  This is a safety net if you need nursing home care.

If the physician certifies you need assisted living level of care or home care and your income and assets fall within the Medicaid program limits, you must call the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) and get placed on a waiting list for financial assistance.  The waiting list is long, there are over 50,000 Floridians on this list.  How much financial help will they get when their slot comes up to number 1?  Medicaid will pay $1,100 per month towards their care costs (not room and board costs).

Our client has the predicament of being extremely careful with funds while hoping they eventually get a slot from the waiting list.  If she runs out of money prior to getting a slot on the waiting list she will need to relocate to a facility that only charges $900 per month or hope she meets the level of care for a nursing home.  What type of choice is that for our elder?

Please join us Tuesday, April 5, 2016 1pm – 2:30pm for a workshop:  How to Pay for Long Term Care.  We look forward to seeing you then.

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