And Here We Go...
And Here We Go...
And so it begins. The Medicaid application process. The assessment process. Pretty sure it isn't going to go well. Nothing much has so far, why should this be any different?
Why do I think that you ask? (I heard you don't deny it) To begin with, as I have been given to understand the Passport program won't cover the number of hours a day that we need. Next we have an assessor who presents as a complete dingbat. Can't seem to keep his notes straight, fussing with his computer, didn't walk through the house and see what modifications I have made or make suggestions for any additional modifications, did not leave a list of Passport providers then called me and left a voicemail to ask which one we preferred. So I called him back on the number he gave to let him know that we didn't have any list of providers. He had given me the wrong number - the number he gave had been disconnected. So... Did not get anything remotely close to a good vibe. The man did not seem to have any idea what he was doing. And this is the person who has the ability to approve or deny services.
Then there's the money aspect. Despite sending P.O.A. paperwork, the folks at TIAA claim that they can't send the rollover paperwork so that we can roll over a mere $1300 into the Mom's simple IRA at the bank (making that total all of barely $7k). This matters why you wonder?
I'm trying to get all of the money into one account so that I have a better handle on what she has and how much. Because I'm told that we have to spend it down. Oh and there's a life insurance policy that I have been given to believe ( 'cuz I read a lot of stuff) I could have converted into a irrevocable trust to be used only for final expenses. Assuming I can find an attorney who knows what the heck I'm talking about and how to do that in Ohio. Because you see, in Ohio a life insurance policy is considered an asset by Medicaid. If I can get that trust set up then I only have to worry about the $6k ($7k if TIAA ever cooperates) in the retirement account(s) along with the checking and savings which are almost gone. The retirement account(s) can be cashed out to pay off her one credit card and pay off medical bills.
Medical bills that I also can't get information on despite having faxed (who the hell uses fax machines anymore?) the P.O.A. paperwork to the billing department. Faxed the papers over on January 2nd with a cover letter stating that I wanted an itemized listing of the services and payments made. 15 days later and we have heard nothing. We keep getting bills with the same service date, multiple "account" numbers for $40 here and $60 there. Told them on the phone we're not paying anything until we get that list. The silence is deafening.
How the hell are we supposed to navigate this quagmire of caregiving without a map or a compass or even a guiding star? (Admit it you have no idea either) We're thrown out here adrift, with nothing and expected to figure out legal and medical details, fight a system that is beyond broken and somehow manage to take care of our loved ones and ourselves.
Unless you have considerable financial resources you can't even begin to sort all this out and even if you do I'm pretty sure the money goes POOF! pretty quickly. The one place that I would like to get Mom into is over $8k a month PLUS $200 here and $300 for various care needs. The $8k only covers room and board, not care. Lawyers to establish trusts and so forth cost money as well.
And yet "they" tell us that it is better for our loved ones to be at home, that it costs the taxpayers less than placement in a facility and they want to make it easier for seniors to stay at home. Really? So just when is this making it easier thing supposed to kick in? Did I miss the memo?
I may seem to complain a lot but this place is the only safe place there is for me. And I'm angry at a system that pretends to provide support and services and make it "easier" on our loved ones to stay at home. "Pretends" being the operative word. Yes, I'm angry and I'm worried and no, I don't have a good feeling about this whole assessment and Medicaid application process. I also can't find my compass....
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