Author Topic: Florida Medicaid Question  (Read 1440 times)


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Florida Medicaid Question
« on: June 13, 2016, 10:43:30 AM »
Hi all,
This is a question on behalf of my step-mother; her mother lives in FL and her health is declining rapidly. She had a few psych incidents this weekend and was in the psych ward for 24 hours and will likely be transferred to some kind of skilled nursing facility soon. My step-mother's brother has power of attorney and is the executor of their mother's will, but is asking my step-mother to take over the handling of the medical insurance/billing part of their mother's care. My step-mother is concerned that since she doesn't have any legal authority, nor access to her mother's finances, that she might end up being liable for any medical services that Medicaid doesn't cover, especially in the event of her mother's passing. She hasn't been able to get clear answers about how this situation works, and I thought I would reach out to you all to see if you can shed some light. I do feel it's important to mention that my step-mother's brother has changed their mother's will so that my step-mother is no longer listed as a beneficiary, so all of this seems very shady to me.
Thanks in advance!


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Re: Florida Medicaid Question
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2016, 07:00:45 AM »
Well, this is more of a family / legal subject and has less to do with Insurance billing that any of us (billers) could shed some light on.

But, I would like to try. If your step mother has been listed as the guarantor on the doctor / Hospital records, then the doctor/hospital has the right to bill the guarantor (your step-mother) for charges that Medicaid will apply towards the recipient's responsibility.

If the patient (your step-mother's mom) has been listed as the guarantor then, the bills can be collected only by settling the patient's estate after her demise. At that instance, a law office may have to intervene and discuss that matter with your step mother's brother as he would be handling her Will.

If you think the patient could get better for some while, please check with an attorney to see if the Power of attorney given to him to execute her Will could be voided or revoked with the consent of your step-mother's mom. But, that's a family / relationship issue which no one should comment about.

Good luck.



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Re: Florida Medicaid Question
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2016, 08:16:46 PM »
I can help a bit also....

I am sole property POA/healthcare proxy/co-executor on will for my mom who is dying in Florida, while I live in Illinois. Before she went on hospice, I had all her medical bills sent to my address in Illinois, but they were still under her name. So she was/is still the guarantor for her bills, but I pay them using her money that I have access to due to the POA for her regular checking/savings account, and on her revocable trust account. My POA allows me to handle all financial transactions for her regarding personal property, banking matters, insurance matters, etc, but does NOT impose a duty upon me to handle her financial affairs. Meaning if she doesn't pay a bill, it isn't my responsibility to make sure it does get paid(I would, of course, but some people would not, which is why POA should only be given to someone you trust to do the right thing on your behalf).

So what does this mean for your step-mom? If her brother wants her to take over dealing with their mom's medical bills from both a payment perspective, and being able to talk to billing offices/Medicaid, etc, on her behalf, then she will need to become co-agent with her brother on the POA, as well as have HIPAA release forms signed. The POA will allow her to pay bills using her mom's account, and the HIPAA release will allow her to talk to who she needs to talk to, if necessary. As long as she does not make herself the guarantor for any of her mom's bills, she will not be financially liable when her mom dies, and any outstanding bills will be paid from her estate, like Sriram said. POA ends when the person who gave it to you dies, also.

If her brother is not willing to get the POA changed(or provide your step-mom with money to pay the bills), then your step-mom should tell him "tough, you handle the bills/insurance", because otherwise, the only money she can pay them with would be her own.

Then there is the fact that with Medicaid coverage, certain assets that your step-mom's mom may have are subject to Medicaid's Asset Rules, if she does end up in a NH/SNF. End result on that will probably be that her son won't end up with anything once she dies, but that is another story.


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Re: Florida Medicaid Question
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2016, 07:27:52 AM »
This is a question for an estate attorney as there are indeed some states where next of kin can be held responsible. There are procedures in place such as posting in newsppaers and notifying credit bureau's and you want to get the correct answers. Definitely obtain a lawyers advice.
Linda Walker
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