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Forming a Trust

ElderChoices: Nursing Home Alternative for Wyoming Residents

The elderly are people who are in desperate need of services. Many of them do not want to go to nursing homes. Here is the good news: there are alternative ways to keep the elderly in their own homes. There are programs available to provide the elderly with alternatives. Every state differs in what they offer, however, every state does offer something. My personal experience is working with people in the state of Wyoming. I am very knowledgeable about the services offered in this state. While other states have different income and medical requirements, they all offer a lot of the same services. Most of the services that will be covered here are Medicaid services.

 

The best Medicaid Wyoming has to offer that can keep the elderly in the comfort of their own home is a program called ElderChoices. This is an alternative to nursing home living. The income cutoff to be eligible for this program is $2,022.00 a month. A spouse’s income is not counted for this particular program. The individual cannot have over 2,000 dollars in resources and if married, cannot have over $3,000 dollars in resources. Resources include any land, cash surrender values on life insurance, money in checking or savings account, stocks, bonds, etc. The medical requirements are that the individual must need limited help in two of these or extensive help in one of these: transferring, eating, and toileting. If the individual has Alzheimer’s, they automatically medically qualify. This applies for forming a trust, whether it be revocable or an irrevocable medicaid trust.

The Department of Human Services nurse is the one who makes the call on whether they qualify medically. If approved for ElderChoices, there are many options available. The nurse also determines what they need. People who are on ElderChoices can receive a caregiver to come in and do homemaking (cleaning house), personal care (bathing and grooming client), a lifeline may be granted to them with Medicaid covering it, respite (gift of time to the family), companion (someone to socialize with client), adult day care, and adult day health care. Another really good thing about most Medicaid programs is that if you are on Medicaid and Medicare, you are dual eligible. This means that all your prescriptions should be between 0 and 6 dollars and you do not have to pay the premium for your drug plan every month. If you are dual eligible, you are able to change your part D Medicare plan at any time during the year. Medicare pays 80 percent of hospital visits and Medicaid will pick up the other 20 percent. A downside of ElderChoices is that if you own a home and pass away after getting services, DHS has the ability to do estate recovery.

This means they would have the right to bill your estate for services rendered. There are different ways that DHS will not pursue it. They will not pursue it if there is a surviving spouse living in the home or a disabled family member living in the home. As I stated earlier, each state is different. Make sure to check with your state to get specifics on everything I have been talking about, as this is in Wyoming.

Another Medicaid program that provides up to 14 hours in personal care a week is SSI. People with SSI can get up to 14 hours a week but no more. That is the only service they can receive. They are still dual eligible though, so it will still help them out financially. They can also order pull ups, pads, walkers, canes, shower chairs, safety bars, etc with any of these Medicaid programs. Medicaid will pay for those. The income requirement for SSI in Wyoming is 674 dollars a month. If married, the couple cannot make more than 1,031 dollars combined. The resource limit is the same as ElderChoices.

QMB,SMB, and QI-1 are different types of Medicaid services. The only thing they provide are help with help with Medicare premiums and help with lowering drug costs. There are income requirements to get on these programs as well. Each state will be different, so check with your local DHS office for more details.

If you are trying to get help for a loved one, please consider the options you have just been given. Make sure to check with your state for specific options and requirements. Just know, there are options out there. Taking care of a loved one can be exhausting, and you deserve to know that there is help out there not just for you, but also for your loved one. Your local Area Agency on Aging can also give you any information you need for your area. They can even fill out the forms necessary for you to get on the program and give you valuable resources.