If a Florida nursing home (also known as a skilled nursing facility) receives either medicare or medicaid payments, then it cannot require a third party* (i.e., a resident’s adult child) to guarantee payment to the facility as a condition for admission, expedited admission, or for the continued care of the resident patient. The federal law prohibiting this activity is found within the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act.
It should be noted, however, that if the third party (i.e., the resident’s adult child) holds a Power of Attorney or otherwise has legal access to their parent’s funds, then the nursing home may require the adult child to execute a contract to pay the facility from their parent’s funds without the adult child incurring any personal financial responsibility to the facility.
Beware, this federal law DOES NOT also apply to: (1) assisted living facilities, or (2) nursing homes that do not accept medicare or medicaid.
*The federal law refers to any third party but for purposes of this blog, I have utilized an adult child and parent by way of example.
How do you find a nursing home facility in Florida that takes Medicaid?
Florida’ s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has created a governmental website that provides fantastic tips for finding a nursing home. Once you arrive at this website, click on Nursing Homes (right-hand side of page), and it will lead you to a wealth of information about how to proceed in selecting a nursing home facility.
This website also has a Facility/Provider Locator. It is a search engine that allows you to search for facilities in your area. Today, I searched for nursing home facilities in Manatee County that accepted Medicaid. It provided me with a list of THIRTEEN (13) facilities. I also searched for nursing home facilities in Sarasota County that accepted Medicaid. It provided me with a list of TWENTY-SEVEN (27) facilities.
You may notice that some facilities have received a Gold Seal designation. This is a designation awarded by the Governor pursuant to the Gold Seal Program instituted under Florida Statute Section 400.235. It is awarded to those nursing homes facilities that have demonstrated excellence in their industry. Today’s search listed TWENTY (20) facilities statewide.
I was lucky to have had three sets of grandparents, thanks to the blessings of a blended family. My grandparents have now all passed away.
During their healthy years, all believed they would enjoy parallel life spans with their spouses. Yet, all three of my grandmothers outlived their husbands.
Each struggled to deal with this unexpected phase of their lives because they were not prepared for it. None of my grandmothers remained in the work force during child bearing years and none had their own retirement plan outside of social security. As with most marriages, each partner had their own separate roles and responsibilities. Imagine if you were in your mid-seventies and had to learn to drive, pump gas, write a check, figure out your finances and create a budget for the first time. These were just some of the experiences my grandmothers had to brave through. Although these set of circumstances are not uncommon for women, generally, the same cannot be said for men, as was discussed in a recent Forbes Magazine article which formulated reasons why financial advice for women is different.
Statistically, the average life span for men living in United States is 76 years, whereas, the average life span for women in the United States is 81 years. In 2009, there were twice as many women aged 85 and older than there were men. Longevity of life for our aging population is a reality, and for our female population, it is even greater possibility.