Kelley Smith at CarePartners Living discusses various Medicaid qualifications. CarePartners Living has the largest floating Medicaid license in Washington state. People are confused over how to qualify for Medicaid. Average costs of assisted living is $5,000 or $6,000 per month. Income and assets are limited, so perhaps one or two years can be paid for out of pocket. Don’t wait till they’ve exhausted their funds before applying for Medicaid. Qualifications include having less than $2,000 in the bank, requiring assistance with at least three activities of daily living, and assets cannot be hidden.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. And Welcome back to everyone to answers for elders radio with wonderful care partners living. Kelly Smith, thank you again for sponsoring the show today. We are so excited because you guys have been such a wonderful partner for us and one of the things that you guys do really uniquely and you have such an amazing concept and but you have the largest floating Medicaid license in the state of Washington, which is huge. It’s huge and you’re really you work with, you know, middle class America primarily in helping them provide them affordable care and and that’s just such a unique thing. And the thing that’s really Kelly, what really strikes me about your communities is there all beautiful. Thank you. Know, you walk in, you walk into like vine your park and mount like Terris, or you walk into some of your other communities or cottages. They’re like amazing places that you want to be at. So I’m so impressed. Thanks who you guys are. Thank you. That means a lot. Yeah, it does. So let’s say mom or Dad, you know, we talked about in our earlier segment about a spend. Down right average cost of assisted living is, let’s just say five thousand, six thousand a month, somewhere in there. So that means you’re talking about between fifty and Seventyzero dollars a year that it costs you. So if mom or dad have let’s say, for example, they sell their house that maybe had had a reverse mortgage on it, so your maybe end up with a couple hundred thousand dollars. You might have a little bit of self security coming in. That’s a typical, pretty much a typical situation that seniors are in as a rule. Is that correct? It is. That seems to be the majority of what we see. Assets are limited, income is limited, but there’s usually a home. There might even be some savings, maybe a retirement account, but usually it’s not a large amount of money. But then, obviously, because you have both mom and dad that are still with us, they may be in a situation scenario where you know you’re looking at maybe two years. Well, easy of living very possibly, because if you’ve got two hundred thousand dollars, the average cost is is six some months. You’re looking at thirty three months before mom and dad or out of money. Hmm, when do you need to start looking good? Point now. Now would be good if you know they only wait till they’re out of Min don’t wait till they’re out of money, because now you’re now, you’re you’re very limited on what you can do. However, that’s a whole other topic. But right now what we’re looking at is how do they how do they qualify? So what we tell families is don’t wait till the last minute when MOM’s out of money, you move her into a community. We know. Okay, we got thirty three months, at thirty months, three months before they’re going to run out. So when you’re going to start the process, and that’s where you’re going to get your bills together. What do they pay for medications every month? What do they have that have insurance costs? Make sure all that stuff’s written out. You’re going to go online and apply. They’re going to send somebody out to do an assessment from the state, send their own nurse out to kind of meet your folks and see where they’re at with care. They’re going to provide their idea of a what they field care should be. They’re also going to allow. The state’s going to send that to Olympia. That’s going to come back with a daily rate. This is what we’ll pay somebody to take care of your mom and Dad. That’s where things get interesting, because sometimes families don’t understand that correct and if you paying six thousand a month for mom’s care, right, mom and dad to live together. Now you guys are on Medicaid two years later, gain. Guess what we’re getting? Yeah, right, we’re probably getting maybe thirty five. Right, you might get for Forre, lucky. So you’re actually in the hall. Yes, but that’s why, if you do that, spend down to begin with correct and you’re smart about the way you manage your money. You know, and every single one of our communities, every single resident, can spend down to medicate. We don’t limit those rooms. So that that makes it more of responsibility for us to make sure that we’re paying attention to our money and spending it wisely. Yeah, however, it’s when people get down to that process is where they get stuck. And you just have to remember mom has to have mom and dad have to have help with her activities of daily living. Right, they have to financially qualify and you cannot hide assets. No, it’s a lot out of work. And so, you know, one of the things, I think that that is really valuable of what you’re sharing is the fact that you know it isn’t as simple as the world thinks it is. Right. I think one of the things that you know I get frustrated is that there is no school out there that tells you this is what you need to do to navigate senior caress and and the whole financial piece is so huge. It’s the biggest piece because yet there’s no real advisory type of situations. And even if you go to a financial quote unquote advisor there, they’re good in stock markets, they’re good and investing, but they name not necessarily know about what does it take? And you know, in getting back to number one, do you get rid of the house? Do you get rid of, you know, the stocks? As you get down? What are those pieces? That’s those are some things that really is better to go to somebody that understands the process exactly, like an elder law turn Amen, because those are the individuals that will understand the priorities and they also will have a network of people that can’t they can work with that they do work that will understand the actual care plant itself. All your loved I can’t tell you. That’s an issue too. How many families have come in and sit down and talk to us and their big frustration is, yeah, that house is worth about four Hundredzero dollars, but dad took out a reverse mortgage exactly, and we’re like what? No, no, no. But again it’s knowing who to talk to and also having these folks understand that getting in your mom and dad’s financial affairs, especially when there’s been a fall, broken hit, we’ve got dementia, something else is going on. It’s not an invasion of their privacy. You can’t help them if you don’t really know what’s going on. Well, and there’s another piece to this whole Medicaid process. To Kelly, and I know that this is another thing, but, for example, let’s say mom and dad on a house. Dad Is really, really well, you know, in good shape. MOM GETS DIAGNOSED WITH DEMENTIA, are Alzheimer’s? Okay, those assets will go quickly. You best. So understanding meeting with another law attorney, and there’s things like special needs trusts that can be put into place exactly preserve the assets of the home. And again, neither one of us are attorneys, but we know that there are tools that if you meet with anoder law attorney, you will have that information so that you can protect your assets as long as possible and have Medicaid help pay for that individual because they know what’s legal and what you can and can’t do. For example, we had a woman come in one of our communities a few years back had a house to sell on Queen Anne. So I doubt she was going to get, you know, a hundred thousand for it. Paid out, completely paid out. One of the things that she said was my husband, I work really hard to be able to have this. Okay, good. The kids value that house at probably seven hundred thousand dollars. Okay. We set down with them and said, here’s what you’re going to do, here’s a couple numbers. We want you to call Janet Smith, northwest northwest elder law. Give them a call. Let’s see if we can set up something so they can set up a trust. That’s completely legal, right, because you didn’t work your whole life to give that money to somebody to take care of mom. Correct people. Those also don’t understand that there’s also some little loopholes. Mom Dad. Mom and dad want to stay together, but mom’s got dimension and they’ve got limited funds. Places like our community sometimes will say, okay, DAD’s private pay, will put mom on Medicaid. Correct, do that now, and there’s ways that can be done. But if you don’t know what questions to ask, you can wind up spending an awful lot of time not getting anything accomplished. So anytime you’ve got a home to sell, the first thing you got to look at is what are those assets going to be when the House is done? Don’t Mama Dad owe anything on it? Where are we going to wash out? If you wash out over three hundred thousand? My recommendation is you get an elder law attorney right now. Amen. And we are talking again to Kelly Smith, vice president of sales and marketing of care partners living. And you guys are such amazing partners saying with families, and I think one of the things that you guys have been helpful with is it doesn’t matter if people don’t move into your properties. You will help them, which is great, and I think I think that’s so amazing that you know, you’ve been such an advocate to pick up the phone and call and ask questions. You better, because we really encourage that and and certainly we’re so proud to have you guys be a part of our show because of the things that you do and get. Now just tell us a little bit about how do you work though with your resonance in financial process to get when they come in, sit down talk to us. First thing is you got to like the community, because if you don’t, doesn’t matter. Right, right, let’s what’s get into something that doesn’t matter. So you come in, they elect the community. Great, okay. They tell us a little bit about mom’s care needs, what they’re concerned about. We sit down and chat and the first thing that we we get to, of course, is those care needs, because that’s going to base a lot of everything else that happens. Is What why is mom here? What’s going on? We know from experience got kind of a rough idea, especially with memory care, kind of where she’s going to fall in. We can tell the kids what we’re thinking, but let’s do a proper assessment. Nurse does the proper assessment, come back and says mom’s a level three. Okay, you’re looking at six, five hundred a month. Let’s talk about her assets and that’s when we sit down on the family. We say, okay, this is this is what we need to know. What does she have? Then my job is to take a really good look, and I’ve trained my team to do this. You take a really good look at what that’s going to cost. What are some possibilities for the future? Okay, because chances are people can get worse. Need more care. Yep, you try to put all that in there and then you come up with a plan. If they’re if they’ve got enough money for thirty months, we’re going to write the contract for twenty four. You see what I mean? Yeah, you give them a little bit of a buffer, but you explain to them what their options are. You know, and and the other thing what you’re saying to which is really important, is you know there’s things come up like mom needs new clothes, mom might have an extra medication that Medicare and you know is not going to cover. You know you’re going to have to pay so much. Your mom might our dad might need. You know new new hearing aids, that it’s not going to happen. There’s things that come and you have to keep track of that stuff, because when you go to medicate, and what people don’t realize it. Just because MOM’s on Medicaid doesn’t mean you can’t change that monthly. Right, if this month she needs those new hearing aids, you get ahold of the social worker Dsh as you fill out the forms and they’re going to subtract that from her participation. Everybody has a participation. You’re only allowed and I don’t. I gotta go back and read what it is for couples, but was single folks. I think it’s like sixty seven dollars of months. Okay, well, that’s great. Mom’s got an income of five hundred. Is an example. She only gets to keep sixty seven. That other money’s not found money. You know. That goes back to the community she’s living in. That’s part of her participation. But that can change monthly. If next month you’ve got to get her hearing aids, well, now, instead of her giving the community, you know, four hundred and some odd dollars, now what she’s probably going to give them is a hundred dollars. Well, that makes sense. This is so valuable and so Kelly. I know we talked last month and last weekend, last weekend last segment. Edit that, Joshua. We talked last segment about, you know, just the spend down on the whole Medical Rosas. So how do we reach you? You can reach us by checking out our website, care partners livingcom. You can also reach me directly at Kelly Kelley, care partners livingcom, and we’re available to answer questions any time. And the truth is, like you said earlier, I don’t care where you live. You come and join us. We’re happy to have you. But as long as you have the right information to go out and find the place that makes you the happiest, then we all win. Anyway. That’s what we want for everyone in this community. So please, everyone, reach out. Check out care partners living. I promise you there’s probably a community near you and if you have a loved one that needs help, check them out. They’re awesome. Thank you. The preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. To contact care partners living, go to care partners livingcom.
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.