You have finally admitted to yourself that it might not be safe to live
alone any longer. You and your children have visited several assisted
living communities and have decided which one feels right for you. Now
it is time to think about how you are going to pay the potential $2,500
- $4,000 monthly cost of making this community your home.
You saved your money diligently your whole working life and could comfortably
afford your retirement lifestyle. However, the safety net lifestyle available
at the assisted living community is much more expensive than your retirement
lifestyle. How are you going to pay these increased costs?
If you have a long-term care policy, that could provide the answer. If
you don't have a long-term care policy, you usually have to turn to
government benefit programs such as Medicaid or the aid and attendance
benefits available to veterans or surviving spouses of veterans through
the Veterans Administration.
You decide to pursue Medicaid benefits and now that you are on the brink
of moving in, you find out that in Florida there is a waiting list to
apply for Medicaid benefits for assisted living communities. You are even
more shocked to learn that the wait on this waiting list can be up to
one year long. This is a surprise that could upset all your plans.
Avoid this surprise! It is understandable that you don't want to think
about life with less independence before you have to. However, in Florida
you don't have the luxury of ignoring the question of "what if
someday?" Because of the length of the wait, you have to explore
getting yourself on the Medicaid assisted living waiting list when you
start to feel less independent, not once you actually are less independent
in enough ways to prompt a move to the assisted living community.