John McQueen: [00:02] Welcome to Anderson‑McQueen’s radio show, “Undertakings.” I’m John McQueen, president and owner of Anderson‑McQueen Funeral Homes. As always, on this show we undertake those subjects that you want to talk about.
[00:15] Remember if there’s a specific topic you would like us to talk about or if you have a question or would like us to ask one of our upcoming guests, please email them to email@example.com. We always do our best to include everyone’s request if at all possible.
[00:35] Our topic for today is Medicaid qualifications in a nursing facility. Our special guest today is Charlotte Yensen with Long Term Care Solutions LLC who will help us in undertaking this worthy subject.
[00:49] Welcome, Charlotte.
Charlotte Yensen: [00:51] Thank you very much.
John: [00:52] It’s indeed a pleasure to have someone with your professional expertise here today to help our listeners navigate their way through the many long term care decisions for themselves or an aging parent. Before we get started though today, diving into the subject with all the nuts and bolts of long term care, why don’t we take just a minute and share without listeners a little bit about yourself and your company, Long Term Care Solutions.
Charlotte: [01:17] Thank you very much and good morning. Thank you for having me on your show.
[01:21] Long Term Care Solutions, we are a Medicaid filing company. We assist individuals and family members of loved ones in a nursing facility understand what Medicaid is, how to qualify, how to preserve assets, and how to have Medicaid cover the expense of the nursing facility as opposed to spending down everything and losing everything financially.
John: [01:48] Because I always hear about Medicaid spend down. This can take a little bit of a different approach then to it. Is that what I’m hearing?
Charlotte: [01:59] Yes. There are many, many legal ways to preserve assets and qualify for Medicaid. Just so we all understand, there’s really three ways to pay for the nursing facility for a loved one. When someone goes in the facility, nursing homes are generally around $7,500 to $8,000 to $9,000 a month.
John: [02:18] Wow.
Charlotte: [02:18] As you can imagine, most people will spend down or lose everything within six months or a year or two years. There are many legal ways to protect assets and qualify for Medicaid. People just don’t realize that it’s available to them, but it absolutely is.
John: [02:34] A lot of our families will ask us…some will even come in and they don’t understand what Medicaid is. Can you share with our listeners today what is Medicaid and how can you go about qualifying for it?
Charlotte: [02:49] Absolutely. There’s three ways to pay for the nursing facility. There is private pay which is that large dollar amount. There is nursing home insurance which most people don’t have, and they certainly cannot get it when they’ve been diagnosed with an illness or in the hospital going to a facility. Then there’s Medicaid which is a state program.
[03:05] It is a federal program that is state administered. Florida is one your retirement state and more Medicaid friendly as far as asset preservation and strategies and what you can do to qualify.
[03:21] Medicaid is a state of Florida which we all are taxpayers. You’re a taxpayer. I’m a taxpayer. We are all taxpayers, but it allows for individuals to preserve assets and qualify for Medicaid in really just about any nursing facility.
[03:39] All of your high end nursing facilities take Medicaid, so it is not a situation where the state of Florida is paying. You’re either going to get substandard care that is not accurate or you’re going to go to a substandard care facility which is not accurate. Just about all nursing homes take Medicaid.
[03:59] The care is the same as if someone’s paying the $8,000 or $9,000 a month or if they have insurance paying that dollar amount. Everyone is in the facility together. It’s usually a semi‑private room. One person could be Medicaid. One person could be private pay. There is not segregation of who is Medicaid and who is not Medicaid.
[04:22] I just wanted to really emphasize that because there’s a lot of people that have a fear about it and think that if they preserve assets and qualify their loved one for Medicaid that they’re going to get substandard care. They will not get substandard care at all.
John: [04:36] That’s great to know because I know we’ve had families before that have come in to make pre‑arrangements for their funerals and have even said that their attorney or someone had suggested that they do this to help qualify for Medicaid, but one of their worries was is Mom going to get less than adequate care because she’s going to be on Medicare or Medicaid.
[05:00] I read…because you have a great little booklet that you have available for people and as I was reading through some of that, I saw where many times the nurses and others don’t know who’s on Medicare or Medicaid and who’s not and who’s private pay. That’s more just the business office type situation. That’s great.
Charlotte: [05:25] That’s correct. No one really knows in the facility. The aides don’t know and they don’t care.
[05:30] I will tell you though when you have a loved one in a nursing facility, it’s always best to have visitors. It’s kind of the saying the squeaky wheel gets the oil. That’s an example of visiting your loved one at different times and different days and having a presence there. It doesn’t matter which facility. It’s always good to visit your loved ones because the aides will know who has visitors and who won’t. That’s just the way it is.
John: [06:01] In life, we always look for recommendations from people on things. I know many times, most of our business comes through recommendations. Somebody has referred somebody to us, or things like that.
[06:15] Let’s say my mom’s getting ready to go into a nursing home, and I’m trying to decide how to go about the Medicaid process. Who should I turn to? Should I turn to my neighbor that maybe just put their mom into the nursing home a few years ago? What would you recommend is the best way to go about…
Charlotte: [06:33] Absolutely do not talk to your neighbors and friends. Whatever experience they had, that was unique to them. Every state is different. Whatever happened in a different state or happened two, three or four years ago is going to be different than today. Rules change constantly.
[06:48] I would suggest, please feel free to contact our office. We have a wonderful website with all kinds of information about Medicaid, Medicaid qualifications, the updated Medicaid numbers. It also has this booklet that I printed, all the Q&A and many topics in the booklet on my website at longtermcaresolutionsllc.com. It’s a great way to get information that way.
[07:17] Neighbors and people at church, they really cannot give information accurately. They mean well, and they’re concerned, but as far as accurate information, every case is different. The rules change constantly.
[07:31] You need to speak to a specialist who deals with Medicaid applications every single day. That’s all that I do. My office, we’ve been doing this for 21 years. All we focus on are qualifying individuals for the Florida Medicaid program.
John: [07:46] That’s good to know. I know with our funeral home, same type of situation. We may get referrals or people recommend Anderson‑McQueen, but sometimes we have other professionals in the area that start quoting things about cremation or other topics. By the time the family comes in, they find out what they were told was not actually accurate. It’s always best to talk to professionals.
[08:09] Something I’ve heard quite often from different families before ‑‑ and I’ve never really understood what it meant, so hopefully you can answer that for me, but the term “Crisis Medicaid planning.” What exactly do they mean by crisis Medicaid planning?
Charlotte: [08:26] I will tell you, the majority of the business that I receive are people that are already in nursing homes, or they’re leaving a rehab hospital to go to a nursing facility. That’s usually when I get involved.
[08:39] People don’t have a plan, they don’t have insurance, they can’t get insurance and they’re being presented with eight or nine thousand dollars a month in bills. A lot of times, that’s when I come into the picture. Families are wondering, “What are our options? How do we qualify?” That’s crisis planning, which is an immediate need.
[09:00] There’s a lot of misinformation out there. People think that because something was not done prior to their loved one going into a nursing home that they have no options. That is absolutely not the case. It is not too late, even people right now in nursing homes paying privately.
[09:17] I would tell the listeners, if you know of anyone in a nursing home in Florida right now paying that seven, eight or nine thousand dollars a month, it’s not too late to protect the balance of their estate and qualify for Medicaid. I cannot help with what they’ve already paid the nursing facility, but anything left, there are options to protect assets and qualify for Medicaid from this point forward.
[09:41] That’s certainly crisis planning. They’re right there in the facility, they’re paying the bills. We can help them to protect the balance of the estate and qualify for Medicaid, possibly even for June.
John: [09:51] Oh, wow. I understood also, I think actually I even saw in your book, you said there are certain tests that Medicaid uses to see if someone would qualify, there’s like three tests. What are those tests that our listeners should know about?
Charlotte: [10:07] Sure. The first one is a person’s health. Whether it’s physical or mental, Medicaid will send out their carers unit. That basically is someone to evaluate that that person actually needs to be in a nursing facility, that they’re not too high‑functioning, that that is really the place that they need to be for the next several months or years of their life.
[10:29] Whether it’s Alzheimer’s, whether it’s Parkinson’s, whether it’s just the whole physical situation, that their needs are properly being met in a nursing facility getting 24‑hour care. That’s the health portion of this.
[10:43] Then you have your income and your asset criteria, your tests ‑‑ which are also on my website, the current numbers. Income and assets are looked at. What I tell families is that Medicaid is going to basically take a snapshot of somebody’s assets and income, so everything needs to be just perfect to qualify for the Medicaid.
[11:05] That’s what we do. We help take the whole application process, present everything to the Department of Children and Family Services to help them to qualify. I do work closely with several elder law attorneys. They do the legal portion of it. We do the audit portion of it. We do get the approvals, but normally most of the people that hire us, do not fall within Medicaid’s income and asset criteria. Their income is either too high, assets are too high.
[11:32] There’s a community spouse who was concerned about what that person’s going to live on income‑wise. We do a lot of income diversions from the unhealthy person in the nursing home to the community spouse so that that person has funds to pay the household bills and stuff like that.
[11:50] It’s a complete snapshot of income, assets, transfers and gifts if that has occurred, how to correct that so that this person can qualify for Medicaid and pass the health test, income test, and the asset test.
John: [12:05] Sounds like there’s a lot that goes in depth in applying for it. I also understand that here in Florida as you mentioned you were saying income. I understand Florida’s considered to be what they call an income state. What does that mean exactly?
Charlotte: [12:21] It’s an income state. The income cap right now is $2,199. Basically if someone’s gross income is above $2,199, they don’t qualify for Medicaid. That’s the income portion of the three tests. There are ways to create certain trusts and to qualify, so it’s not going to prevent someone to qualify as long they take care of the proper steps.
[12:50] But that’s an example of seeking professional advice because you don’t want to think it’s not an option for you when it certainly can be just because we can help someone pass that income test. That’s something that can be addressed.
[13:04] Then of course you have the asset tests which are different for a single person and a married couple. A single person’s $2,000 and a married couple’s $119,220 dollars. It’s, again, knowing what the rules are to protect assets, whatever legal documents might be necessary to go again and pass these tests.
John: [13:26] I’m assuming as far as from a income standpoint, you mentioned gross income, that would be active income, passive income. It could be interest income. It could that you have some portion of a business that’s generating them revenue, things like that. All of that would go into play for determining that.
Charlotte: [13:47] Usually how it’s viewed are the income is looked at as Social Security, pension, annuity payments, income from income producing property. Things like that are viewed as income. Interest from investments, not so much because those may change. Once all the plan is put together with the funds and where they are, where they might go, so usually interest from investments is not counted as part of the income portion of someone’s patient liability to the nursing home.
[14:23] The gross number basically means before tax deductions, before Medicare premium is taken out. Sometimes when someone will call my office and their income is $2,074, they’re like, “We’re under the income limit,” many times they are not once you add back in the deductions. Then they can be over.
[14:43] I want to emphasize that Medicaid views the income cap amount as a gross number of $2,199 and not a net number, but these are all things that my office what we do is we help families to identify what is true income, what are the gross numbers, are they over income, are they under income, but the bigger question usually are the assets. What counts as assets? What doesn’t count as assets? That kind of a thing.
John: [15:12] Speaking of assets, that’s a great lead in for my next question for you. I always hear families tell me that, A, we have to qualify for Medicaid but then that Medicaid does have certain allowable assets I would say, what are allowable assets?
Charlotte: [15:28] There are allowable assets such as a home, the homestead in Florida. In my booklet, Long Term Care Solutions LLC, the booklet is on my website, we have a lot of Q&A about assets.
[15:42] One of the main questions is, “Is Medicaid going to take my mom’s home or is Medicaid going to take the condo?” The answer is no because a homesteaded property in Florida is protected. IRAs can be protected. This is something that a lot of people aren’t aware of.
[15:59] If someone has an IRA, let’s say it’s $75,000 IRA, as long as that IRA is producing income, which is the RMD, Required Minimum Distribution, as long as that IRA is producing that income stream to the person, the facility, then the IRA itself does not count.
[16:18] Unfortunately when people contact my office, they sometimes will already liquidate IRAs which is not good. They may sell their homestead of property, which is not good.
[16:28] Income producing properties are also exempt. If someone has a business or a property and they’re receiving income from that, the income counts but the asset does not. Pre‑paying for a burial, which is what you offer here, your services is basically unlimited. It’s a great way where somebody who is having a loved one going into a nursing facility…
[16:51] Many times when they come to my office, they will say to me, “Is it a good idea as part of this plan, part of the application process, to go ahead and purchase the burial planning whether it’s services or a casket or whatever?” We always say, “Yes, absolutely.”
[17:07] As long as it’s irrevocable which means they can’t come here and spend a significant amount of money and then a month later come back and get their funds. Then it’d be viewed as an asset or an investment.
[17:18] As long as it’s irrevocable, there’s really no dollar limit to what they can spend when they come here which your facilities are beautiful by the way, absolutely beautiful.
John: [17:28] Thank you.
Charlotte: [17:29] When they come here and they take care of whatever burial planning for their loved one, that is permissible. As long as it’s irrevocable, there’s no dollar maximum that can be spent in that area.
John: [17:42] Sure. Along those lines, one of the things we get sometimes from families which we had received notice from Medicaid…this is going back several years ago now, but that once it’s been made irrevocable that, just like you said, they can’t come back in next week and decide they want to get some of their money back. The same holds true when the death occurs. That money has been set aside is to be used for funeral expenses.
[18:11] If they change what they decide they want to do at the time of need, then actually we have to notify Medicaid as opposed to refunding the money, because we’ll have a family that comes in and plans a big funeral. Then maybe things have changed in their life.
[18:25] They decide now they’re going to do something a little bit less. They end up with an overpayment, but we have to offer that overpayment to Medicaid first before it goes back to the family. Medicaid tells us what to do. Oftentimes, they don’t seem to realize that sometimes but when it’s irrevocable, it’s irrevocable.
Charlotte: [18:44] Absolutely.
John: [18:44] Also, what about transfers or gifts? Let’s say for example my children. I’m going under Medicaid or might have to go under Medicaid, and I want to transfer some of my assets over to my children, or make gifts to my children.
[19:03] Is there a limit on that, or with Medicaid, are they like the IRS sometimes? They go back and say, “Hey, if it’s been done within a certain amount of time that gets added back in as an asset” or what might be the case there?
Charlotte: [19:18] That’s a really, really good question. I will tell you, I have been doing Medicaid filing and planning for 21 years. There isn’t much I haven’t seen. As much as people don’t understand what Medicaid is, and how to qualify, I’m dealing with people that have done transfers and giftings all the time.
[19:36] That’s a very common part of this, is people that have, whether the mom and dad is perfectly healthy and wants to go ahead and give the $14,000 for the tax allowance, which is not allowed with Medicaid. People will come to my office, and their parent or their loved one has given them, for two or three years, the allowable tax deduction.
[19:57] It’s not OK with Medicaid, so now, what do we do? There’s 50,000 or 100,000 that’s been given away to two or three people. There are ways to fix that. I do work with some elder law attorneys, and we do approach that in a couple of different ways.
[20:12] That can be corrected, and can be fixed. I would tell you right now, there is a five year lookback period. Anyone who is senior or getting older, I would not recommend just giving moneys away. It can come back to be a problem, when the application, when we’re looking to qualify someone for Medicaid.
[20:32] I would not recommend just giving money away, thinking that that’s the safe way to do it. There is a five year lookback period. We do deal with this on a regular basis. We do fix the problem, with certain types of contracts and trusts that the attorneys put together, but it does complicate the picture.
[20:50] It’s just something that we do address quite a bit. I will tell you, also, that if a mom or a dad is living with their daughter or their son, and their income is paying for the shelter costs, and electric, and food, that’s not considered a transfer or a gift.
[21:07] We have a lot of people that have done that, where they live with their parents, or vice‑versa. They say to me, “Mom has helped pay our mortgage for the last two years because Mom lived with us.” I will tell them that’s not a problem because it’s normal to expect her to pay for living expenses somewhere.
[21:26] Whether it’s an assisted living facility, whether it’s her own condo, her own home, it’s not unreasonable to think that she’s paying this $1,000 or $1,500 to her daughter or her son for the last two or three years for contributing towards the household bills.
[21:41] That’s fine. That’s not to be confused with giving $30,000 or $100,000 away for Christmas, or to pay off their daughter’s mortgage. That’s a transfer, and a gift, and that does need to be corrected because Medicaid does do a research check.
[21:56] I’ve been doing this a very long time. I tell people, “Please tell me exactly what happened. We can fix it, but you’ve got to be honest with me. If you tell me everything, we’ll address it, and we’ll fix the situation. If you don’t tell me, and Medicaid gets turned down because of something that happened two years ago, you’re only hurting yourself or your loved one.”
“[22:18] Please tell me everything. We’ll identify it. We’ll fix it. We’ll get the benefits, perhaps for next month. That way, your loved one’s care is in the facility, and there’s going to be a business office upset about accounts receivables, and that kind of a thing.”
John: [22:35] It sounds like there’s a lot of work that goes into making sure it’s all covered for them. They’re lucky to have you out there helping them. Let’s shift gears just a little bit. Let’s change the topic some, and say, “OK, my mom’s already qualified for Medicaid.”
[22:53] Once she’s been qualified, what’s covered and what’s maybe not covered in that nursing home care?
Charlotte: [23:01] That’s a great question. Really, just about everything is covered in the nursing facility. When someone qualifies in a skilled nursing facility for Medicaid, Medicaid is going to pay for that room and board.
[23:13] It’s a semi‑private room. All of the food, diapers, aspirin, medical care, treatment, everything is covered. Loved ones, whether it’s a spouse or children, will not have to come in, bringing items. Some assisted living facilities, people do that. They bring items.
[23:30] Not in nursing homes. It’s not necessary. Medicaid covers everything. It’s really an inclusive, wonderful program. When someone qualifies for that, everything’s taken care of. They get the same care as everyone else in the nursing facility.
[23:46] Frankly, the majority of people at nursing facilities are Medicaid. You have a very high percentage of people that are Medicaid. It’s certainly not a small number. It is not a special Medicaid wing.
[23:58] What I like to see happen is, when there are some funds to protect, whether it’s $50,000 or $100,000 or $200,000, and we’re protecting these funds for a lady or a gentleman in the nursing facility, I like to see those funds actually go back to that person to enrich their life some more.
[24:15] Whether it’s for entertainment, something that they enjoy doing in their life, whether it’s paying for grandkids to come and visit them that could help them, and stimulate them, and have visitors from family members.
[24:28] It’s always nice to preserve the money, have it set aside in one format or another. Have those funds utilized to help that person’s quality of life, whether it’s maybe having an aid come in a couple of hours a day, just to spend time with that person, doing specifically what they like to have done.
[24:46] Take them on the grounds and just spend individual time with them, paying for family to come visit with them, all kinds of things. Even with some nursing facilities, when we’re able to preserve assets, it could also be nice for the person, if they choose to go from a semi‑private to a private room in the nursing facility, that upcharge could be covered.
[25:09] Protecting the funds is nice, but it’s really not about getting the funds to the kids and the grandkids. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about helping that person in the nursing with their quality of life for as long as possible. Then it’s for the kids and grandkids later.
John: [25:30] Having had a mother who’s, as I had shared with you before we started the show today, my mom spent nine years in a nursing home. They told us as she was coming into the nursing home that the average stay is like two years.
[25:44] Obviously, she went way off the charts there. It’s definitely important to plan for the future. You never know what that future may bring, and how long they may actually be there at the nursing home. It’d to be able to keep that quality of life up that they’ve become accustomed to, or used to.
[26:10] Again, my mom had to go into a nursing home. Let’s say, for example, if my mother or my father, maybe they were better suited for an assisted living type facility, as you mentioned. Will Medicaid still pay for that, or do they still qualify for assisted living? How does that work?
Charlotte: [26:28] That’s a wonderful question, and we do get that quite often. Even when I’m dealing with a son or a daughter, and Mom or Dad is going into the nursing facility, it’s always hopeful to think, “Well, maybe they can get better, and go to assisted living, where maybe it’s a little bit more of an active environment.”
[26:45] I will tell you, especially in the booklet here, and there’s some very, very specific language. I would suggest your viewers going to my website and longtermcaresolutionsllc.com, and look at that portion in the booklet, which is on page 17 and 18.
[27:01] Basically, it’s called, “Transitioning from a skilled nursing facility to an assisted living.” What’s important to know is when someone’s in a skilled nursing facility, if they are there under Medicaid for 60 days, which is two months, they’re going to pick a provider, a managed care provider.
[27:22] It’s like an HMO. You’ve got American Elder Care. You’ve got Molina. The families are going to pick a provider that’s covering the care for them. When they have picked their provider, and they’re in the nursing facility for 60 days, then they can transition to an assisted living facility, and the Medicaid will go with them.
[27:41] It’s really, really a big deal. If someone leaves a skilled nursing facility without participating in this transition program ‑‑ they either didn’t qualify for Medicaid, didn’t pursue that, or they were there just in and out in a matter of a couple of weeks, and didn’t honor the 60 days under Medicaid, and the skilled nursing facility.
[28:00] What will happen if they go to an assisted living and initiate the application, not in the skilled nursing home, but in the assisted living, they’re going to be put on a wait list, diversion wait list, which could be one or two years, waiting for benefits.
[28:17] To avoid that, it’s to qualify for Medicaid in the skilled nursing facility, which is what we can help them with, getting their income and assets where they need to be, having the Medicaid approved, being there for 60 days, and then transitioning at that point to the assisted living facility on this transition program.
[28:36] The rules are very specific. They’re very exact. If individuals don’t follow it completely, they’ll get bumped off, and have to sit and wait on a waiting list, which could take one or two years. Basically, to qualify for Medicaid in the assisted living facility is on a frailty score.
[28:55] The most ill come first. When you’re coming from a skilled nursing facility, you are at the top of the list. If someone is in a skilled nursing facility getting rehab, the family’s hoping that they’ll be able to transition to an assisted living after rehab, or shortly after that, they need to take advantage of the transition program.
[29:16] Apply for Medicaid in the skilled nursing home. Have Medicaid covered for two months, and then transition to the assisted living facilities. The ALFs are all aware of this transition program. They like it. They’ll be very happy, knowing that someone is coming from the skilled nursing home on this transition program, because they know the bills are going to get paid.
[29:36] They don’t have to wait those one or two years, or ask for family to pay. They know that they have been approved for Medicaid. They’ve picked their provider, and they’ve met the 60 days. Now they’re going to transition to the assisted living facility.
[29:50] It’s really, really a big deal. When people call my office, and say, “Oh, we’re really hoping Mom will be going to an assisted living in the next few weeks,” immediately, I tell them, “Well, we’ve got to get Medicaid in the skilled nursing home.”
“[30:01] Let’s secure that. Let’s get that all taken care of. Let’s get those 60 days taken care of, and then transition to the assisted living.” It’s a really wonderful program, but if you’re not aware of the rules, then that’s where people are frustrated waiting on these diversion wait lists for one and two, and possibly longer.
John: [30:22] I always try to put things in terms that a guy like me can understand. Having heard that, I would say that, by doing it through the skilled nursing facility, and doing the transitioning program and all of that, like you just described, it’s like the Fastpass program at Disney World.
[30:41] You can stand in the long line, and wait to get on Space Mountain, or you can get the Fastpass, and get in much quicker. That’s great information. Also, you know you’ve given us tons of great information today.
[30:55] I had one final question I definitely wanted to make sure to ask you. I know our listeners will want to know about this. That is, I’ve heard all this terrific information, but how do I get started? What should I do? When do I know I need to get started, etc.?
[31:15] What should they do next, if they’re thinking about maybe needing to go on Medicaid?
Charlotte: [31:19] What I would say is please give our office a call. I always provide free consultations. When I’m talking to families about their loved ones, or I’m talking to an actual individual, who’s concerned about needing to go into a nursing facility or assisted living facility, and they want to know what their options are, please feel free to give our office a call, or go online.
[31:40] We have an application on our website they can fill out, and they can organize their [inaudible] . That’s, again, longtermcaresolutionsllc.com. That way, they can go on there. They can read about us. They can request us to contact them.
[31:57] Our local number is 727‑240‑0750. One of my assistants can take their information, they can go online, complete the form and submit it. It’s always a free consultation. I don’t put a time limit on my consultations.
[32:14] If I’m talking to a family about a loved one and then after the consultation they ask me to speak to someone else in their family, a brother or a sister, I will do that at no additional charge. I feel like this a very important topic, especially when you’re dealing with assets, restructuring and working with the attorneys.
[32:34] I work with several attorneys who are wonderful that also give free consultations. I feel like this is an important decision. I don’t want people to feel rushed. I don’t think that they should have to feel that they have to commit financially until they get all their questions answered.
[32:49] I would strongly encourage everyone to contact us one way or the other and we can set up a consultation, whether it’s in my office, whether it’s a phone consultation, whether I meet individuals at their home, hospital, nursing facilities, and give them an idea of what’s involved with the whole application process to qualify for Medicaid.
John: [33:09] That’s great. You’ve definitely got a lot of ways for them to get a hold of you. Again, I can attest to the fact that I read your little book that you put together that you give away. It has terrific information in it, very helpful for navigating these solutions.
[33:28] Charlotte, how about any final thoughts you’d like to share with our listeners today as we get ready to wrap up the show today?
Charlotte: [33:34] Absolutely. I would definitely tell the listeners, I don’t know if they have updated advanced directives, but I do provide free power of attorney, living will and healthcare surrogate forms on my website. They are for free. Anyone can go there and print them and even just go to the local bank, and they can notarize those forms.
[33:56] If they don’t have updated power of attorney, allowing someone to act on their behalf when they become incapacitated, it’s really a big deal. Getting a guardianship when someone goes into a nursing facility can cost thousands of dollars and take a couple of months. A couple of months tells me about 15,000, 16,000, 17,000 dollars.
[34:17] A power of attorney is crucial, the living will and the healthcare surrogate. These forms are also available at like Office Depot and Staples, but they’re not going to be specific Medicaid‑friendly. These are, that I have. They are specifically for end‑of‑life Medicaid application. Certain documents that the attorneys prepare, it has that language in these documents, these forms.
[34:44] I would suggest all the listeners who have a concern, if their advanced directives are updated, not updated or if they don’t have them, they should go there and print it. It’s for free.
[34:56] They can give them away at church, or if they live in different communities, at their seniors group, they can give them away, print them and have a little notary session, have someone come in and notarize them. They’ll be happy, they’re updated.
[35:10] It’s about a $500 value. If you go to the lawyer’s office to prepare them, it’s about $500 per person. It’s a huge value. Not only is it saving money now, but it’s a huge relief later when someone has a health problem and someone needs to act on their behalf with a power of attorney.
[35:30] Many powers of attorneys don’t have certain powers in them that are crucial for Medicaid filing, all kinds of things. These are designed for going into facility certain types of legal documents that are necessary. Again, they are for free on the website at longtermcaresolutionsllc.com.
[35:51] I also have a list of every nursing facility in Florida on the website. If someone has a loved one in a different part of Florida and they want to know what nursing homes are in Palm Beach or Jacksonville, they can go to my website and see all the nursing homes in Florida.
[36:05] We have the booklet here in its entirety. We have the updated Medicaid numbers. We’ve got useful links and contact information. I would encourage you, the listener, your friends and neighbors to please visit the website. If you have questions, contact us.
[36:21] We are here in Clearwater. I’ve got an office that I work with one of the attorneys in Tampa, and also in Sarasota. We’re here on the whole west coast. Anyone in Florida that would like to qualify for Medicaid, we can assist them. This is not just a county thing. The entire state of Florida, the rules are the same. If you know of someone in a different part of Florida, we can still help them.
[36:44] I will tell you that I absolutely love what I do. I’ve been doing it for 21 years. Every case is a little bit different. I feel like they’re kind of like puzzles and putting all the pieces together. I absolutely love what I do. That’s why I provide the free consultations.
[36:58] I want people to feel comfortable, I want them to get a lot of good information and through my office, they also have free consultations with the power of our attorneys. Fortunately, I’ve been doing this a very long time. We’ve done thousands of applications. That’s my way of giving back to the community.
John: [37:15] That’s great. In all the conversations I’ve had with you, I can definitely hear and sense that passion for what you do. That’s probably why you’re so great at it, because you have that passion.
[37:29] Charlotte, I want to thank you for joining us today and for sharing this great and valuable information on solutions for long‑term care. I know you’ve provided our listeners with a lot of great insight into that planning process.
[37:43] I do want to remind our listeners they can learn more about Charlotte and her company, Long Term Care Solutions LLC, at www.longtermcaresolutionsllc.com or by calling their toll‑free number at 1‑844‑252‑1336, again, that’s 1‑844‑252‑1336 and schedule that free consultation. Also, be sure to visit their website and download those forms that Charlotte gave out.
[38:20] Also, I do want to thank all of our listeners for listening to Anderson‑McQueen’s radio show, Undertakings. Never miss an episode by subscribing to Undertakings at the iTunes store. It’s easy and it’s free. In addition to our podcast, you can also download our free funeral app at the iTunes store or at the app store.
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[39:12] I’m John McQueen with Anderson‑McQueen funeral homes. I thank you for listening to Undertakings.