Have you just learned that your aging parent has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease? Are you trying to find ways to pay for the skilled nursing care your aging parent will now need? Know that it is possible to get assistance in paying for a nursing home for your aging parent with Parkinson’s. There are programs available, including Medicare and Medicaid. We recommend you consult a Florida elder law attorney for assistance in finding out your best options.

Even though they are different programs, Medicare and Medicaid may contribute to paying for nursing home care for your aging parent. As most everyone knows, Medicare is the health insurance program for adults over age 65. What is less known is that Medicare has a limited nursing home benefit, paying only for 100 days of care, but it can be the most useful in the pre-nursing home stage. Many Medicare plans will pay up to 80% of the costs of all of the doctor’s visits and diagnostic tests that come prior to a Parkinson’s diagnosis, until the deductible on your loved one’s health insurance plan is met. Medicare may then cover the remaining costs for the pre-diagnosis visits.

Medicaid is usually the program that takes over when Medicare benefits are no longer enough if your aging parent qualifies for it. In every state, qualified individuals can have nursing home costs covered by Medicaid when this level of care may be needed. If your aging parent needs care in his or her own home first, a Florida elder law or Medicaid attorney can help you navigate the process of obtaining a Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver. This waiver can enable Medicaid to cover the cost of caring for your aging parent with a Parkinson’s diagnosis in his or her own home.

The costs of a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) which is particularly helpful for elderly people with Parkinson’s may also be covered by Medicaid. A PCA is focused on caring for your aging parent and can develop a longer term caregiving relationship, which many families find meaningful and rely on.

Our office can help guide a family through long-term care planning for aging parents and loved ones. At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.