Medicaid in Florida

Why Are We Different?

Sean W. Scott – Your Trusted Elder Law Attorney

Our goal is to help you succeed in aging with dignity and a high quality of life, both for you and for your loved ones. To be successful in aging, especially “aging-in-place” at home, you must arm yourself with all of the resources and knowledge you can. Many outside forces conspire against your success, including those that purport to help you file for Medicaid benefits. These Medicaid planners are not trained elder law attorneys, but are usually financial advisers or insurance agents. The sad truth is that some of these non-professional Medicaid planners put profits over the interests of their clients. Nor do you have any remedy should they make a mistake. Lawyers, however, are strictly regulated by the Florida Bar, are required to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and continue to keep current on the law through continuing education requirements. Non-professional Medicaid planners have none of these safeguards.

The United States Supreme Court accurately described Medicaid as among “the most intricate … Byzantine” texts “ever drafted by Congress.” The renowned Justice Henry Friendly called the Social Security Act “almost unintelligible to the uninitiated” and another famed appellate court famously stated that the statutes and regulations “are among the most completely impenetrable texts within human experience.”

Medicaid is the primary government program covering long-term care for Americans. Without it, many of us, our parents, grandparents and friends would be without care at end of life. Yet in America, our system does not provide long-term care for all. The system only pays for long-term care when a person is down to $2,000 in assets. Because the cost of home care, assisted living and nursing home care is so high, most people cannot afford to pay without becoming impoverished. After “spending down” to the Medicaid poverty limits, these middle-class and upper-middle-class Americans are now solely reliant on the government dole, having no money left to pay for everything the government will not cover. Because money buys care, these people now struggle to maintain quality care and quality of life.

The purpose of this site is to provide a starting point for families to plan for the future and to provide solace and direction for those who come to it at time of crisis. The good news is that there are solutions.

Having practiced Elder Law in Florida for over 26 years, we are well aware of the crisis in which people find themselves when facing long-term care. It seems to come out of nowhere, this freight train of trauma that can blind-side the unprepared. After 50 years of marriage, a wife watches as her husband deteriorates into near-total dependence. Her goal is to keep him at home as long as possible but, she has her own limits whether admitted to or not. A loving daughter attempts to be a caregiver for her parents while juggling her own family and work commitments. She watches as her work and family life suffers but knows that she must deal with the core human issue of her parents needs in their final years.

In order to succeed in achieving the highest level of care and the highest quality of life, you must become educated in how the Medicaid system works. Use this site on Medicaid and long term care as a starting point, always keeping in mind your end-game — to achieve the highest level of care and the highest quality of life. While this site is an incredible resource that will help you and many others, do not think of it as a substitute to consulting the right professionals. It takes elder law attorneys years to understand how to counsel their clients and guide them through the long-term care maze. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can do this alone. While it may sound self-serving for me to suggest you consult with an elder law attorney, it is not. You cannot do this alone. You need help. If you select the right professionals to help you, the money you spend will come back to you many times over.

After you have spent time on this site and learned how to make the Medicaid system work for you, tell at least one other person, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. The information contained on this site can save tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars but more than money, it represents what that money can buy — quality of care and quality of life. Share this information so you can help others.