How do I begin the process of applying for Medicaid for my Mom?

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My mother is in the beginning stages of Alzheimers. She is originally from Ohio but has lived with me in Florida for the past 6 years after my father passed away. My family would like for her to move back to Ohio in a nursing home there. We are currently looking into prepaying her funeral expenses to use her assets in that way. Since she lives with me, her expenses are not greater than her income which is about $1,550 a month. Does she need to wait to move to Ohio to apply for Medicaid or can she begin the process in Florida.

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Joyce - Medicaid is a joint state & federal program BUT it is administered by each state under it's own rules and requirements. So what works for FL Medicaid may or may not work for OH. If the plan is for her to move eventually to OH, then you kinda need to get her there and make her a legal resident of the state of OH. It's a state program and they have to take care of their residents first & foremost. Understand?

Now it sounds like you have a bit of time to do this, here's my suggestions:
1. get mom to do her banking with a bank which is in both states FL & OH. If there isn't one, then maybe Ally bank which is a totally on-line one. They seem to be a no fee for those who direct deposit their SS too. I'd stay with the FL address for a few months then change to the OH address. Keep all her bank statements and while you're at it find all her banking for the last 3 - 5 years just in case OH Medicaid asks for it (which they probably are)
2. Decide who in OH is going to be the point person for mom for the future. Then you need to get mom having mail sent to that address. Magazine subscriptions, the new banking situation, any credit cards, her life insurance policies. etc. You are establishing her residency.
3. Now if mom owns ANY real property in FL (house, car, land) this is going to be a problem. Now those are exempt assets for FL Medicaid but if she moves to OH, then they are "foreign" and non exempt. They will have to be sold (house, land) with the proceeds going to pay for her care or her needs. Car she can keep but registered & insured for OH. Again all about establishing residency.
4. Her SS and retirement - if she is not on-line for looking at her SS and any retirement right now, please get that done. I'd do this with the FL address for a couple of months and then just go on-line and change it the month before the move to OH. Medicaid is going to want to see her award letter for this year for SS and any retirement so again find those and keep them with all her banking stuff.

About the FH if you do this in FL be very clear that she is moving to OH. The policy may or may not transfer or be valid in another state. You know the FH are used to doing Medicaid compliant policies in super-short order so I might wait on doing this till after the move. personally I'd shop it now but wait till the move to get a policy done & paid for. FH stuff again has specific state laws so what works for FL may not work for OH. Good luck.
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It would probably be better to wait until she got to Ohio as she has to be in a nursing home before you can apply. In assets, she is allowed to own a car, house, funeral. Basically when the assets are below the 2,000.00 limit and she is placed in a nursing home (after an evaluation) you can then apply here or in Ohio. Make sure you let the funeral home know that you are applying for medicaid. They should have you sign a irrevocable agreement, which basically means the funds are frozen and can only be used for the purposed of funeral. Once she is on Medicaid, all of her income will be used for her "share of costs" then Medicaid should pick up the rest. If you need to find an elder law attorney you can look under www.naela.org to find one in your area.
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Very complicated! The family in Ohio would need to have a POA and have to find the nursing home they want and do the paperwork. It is always easier to get them in as private pay for 2 years then transition to Medicaid. IF she is the Widow of a wartime veteran she may get aid from the VA up to $1113/ month. A good facility will help find financial aid.
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