Think that will not happen? Economic and health care problems go hand in hand. If Grandpa, who had been serving in the army when he was young, but now he can’t find the records…guess what? He may be denied for health care. Or if Grandma does not have health insurance, she may have to pay out of pocket. She is already broke. What’s going to happen now? Can she tap into Grandpa’s V.A. benefits?
Last week, we wrote about our aging parent’s financial matters and the “money talk”, I am sure you sense there is a change with their financial status because of the economy today. Another change occurred over the past couple of years- that’s the health care industry. Big time changes, too!
How can they get health care assistance? Do you know the laws and regulations for Medicare and Medicaid in your state? Will your elderly parents qualify for Medicaid, and what are the procedures to apply before it is too late to apply?
Conversations about their healthcare, insurance, and health care needs are as important as the money talks. Everything revolves around money.
The aging population of our country is increasing by leaps and bounds as compared to the other age groups, but funding for Medicare and Medicaid is slowly diminishing. At the same time, our average healthcare cost increases about 2.4% a year, more than our GDP according to the Kaiser Family Foundation report.
Our need for healthcare increases as a person gets older. Other than doctor’s visits and prescription drugs, there may be a need for nursing home care, homemaker services, medical visiting nurses, hospice, or other types of in-home based caregiving services.
Each state has their own agency for Medicare and Medicaid and they are all different from each other. Here are some general tidbits that will save you a lot of time and energy when you are preparing to have that conversation with your aging parents or elderly grandparents regarding Medicare, Medicaid, or V.A. Benefits:
Get ready, gather information, and be prepared to create a paper trail.
1. Proof of citizenship and residency
2. Income details
3. Tax records will be needed
4. Marital status
5. Military records
6. Retirement dates and details
7. A complete list of assets
Check with local agencies for details and applications. Check with your local area on aging and SHIP for details. Don’t wait too long and be in a “too late” situation. In most cases, there is a “look back” period.
Another important consideration about health care with your aging parents is the Power of Attorney for Health Care Document- who will determine what will happen with medical and end-of-life issues? If you do not have a signed, notarized Health Care power of Attorney Document with health care directives, it will not be your siblings or your loved ones. It will be the hospital and the doctors. Watch for more information regarding POA in September.
We are here to serve as a resource and to serve with that first step- Keeping in Touch every day with your aging parents and elderly grandparents. We call for you every day when you can’t be there with a check-in personalized call and medication reminder. We know daily, positive words of encouragement and support do make a difference. When you are ready to take the first step, we are here to give a helping hand. Call us at 1-800-788-1280 or visit us online at KeepingInTouchSolutions.com.
P.S. If you have a question, email us your question at KeepingInTouchSolutions@gmail.com
Diana Beam is an entrepreneur with a vision and a heart for the elderly. She has more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, long term care administrator, home health care pioneer, senior real estate specialist and owner of Keeping in Touch Solutions. Her passion is to see working women and men with elderly parents set free from guilt of not having time or proximity to their aging parents and helping the elderly with their aging needs and transition challenges. Diana lives in Indiana with her husband Ron and they have 3 grown children, 2 grandsons and a golden retriever named Hope and a calico cat named Ms Dottie. Grab her free report, 7 ways to provide maximum support to your parents, today. If you’d like to learn more about Diana and how she helps elderly clients through Keeping in Touch Solutions, check out her website at www.