Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
My mother was a mental patient all her life starting from age 16. She was in and out of state run facilities many times when I was young. That’s why I spent so much time in orphanages, foster care, and with Grandma Mama when growing up. Mom’s mental episodes were always too much for any family member to handle. Not even her parents or my father could handle her during those episodes. We relied on professional care facilities.
During the last 39 years Mom had been a full time nursing home resident covered by medicare and Kentucky medicaid. I’ve been her legal representative all my life. First I was asked to sign papers as her oldest child. That changed to signing papers as her power of attorney for several years and later as her legal guardian.
As Mom’s guardian it was my responsibility to apply for Kentucky medicaid coverage. In order to qualify for medicaid the recipient cannot have any assets at all. That is required by law. Every year, in order to renew her medicaid coverage I had to sign papers explaining Mom had no assets. No car, no bank account, no property, nothing.
Saturday’s mail lay on a table until this morning when I opened it. I discovered I had received a bill from the medicaid office billing me for close to half a million dollars to repay the state of Kentucky for Mom’s medical coverage while living two years in the last nursing home. Yes, you read that right. A half million dollars. I’m being billed as her guardian and I’m responsible for turning over all her assets to the state. Now does that make any sense to you?
Year after year I had to prove she had no assets and now I’m being billed to turn over those non existent assets. Just how does a person prove the existence of “nothing”? Not only am I being billed by Kentucky medicaid but the nursing home failed to send paperwork to the medicaid office for payment for the ambulance, hospital, and medication bills during her last three months of life. Those medical costs are now being billed to me.
The Kentucky medicaid bill did mention an exemption process and listed the reasons I can be exempted. According to what I read I wouldn’t qualify for any exemption. I have 15 days to file for an exemption OR I can make out a check for the full amount and mail it back to them. Now really…. I guess I have half a million dollars just laying around waiting for a bill to arrive?
Anyone who knows me does know curse words never come out of my mouth but this morning I’m left wondering just how the H#LL do they believe I’m supposed to come up with half a million dollars when I’m barely managing to stay ahead of my own bills?
Don’t worry I’m not really upset. I’m just ranting and laughing about the absurdity of it. I know they can’t get what I don’t have but I really do need some legal advice…. like now…. but how would I pay for it? Every dollar I received for the sale of my house is going for the purchase of my new house. Closing costs, taxes, attorney fees, title searches, etc. are barely covered leaving me with a zero bank balance after the papers are signed. As always, and if I didn’t already have enough to do, I’ll have to become my own attorney. A trip to the library and some legal research in about to happen. Its a good thing I like doing research.
I swear, the world is so darned greedy these days. People are worshiping that almighty god…. money. If there is a crooked dollar to be made someone is going to do it. Sometimes the ways people come up with are plain ridiculous.