Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

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.

That god called money

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.

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21 comments on “That god called money

  1. carenowplease
    June 15, 2016

    I am glad you didn’t get stressed with this, and it is sorted.

    It is something for the millions of people to consider though who got pushed onto Medicaid with the PPACA reforms- Medicaid is a loan, and at some point someone will come looking for payment if you own a home, savings or any property, or inherit between now and then.

    The ‘obamacare’ policies are such poor insurance I think many people are happy to find they are now eligible automatically for Medicaid- but everything comes at a price.

    Very often the family home is the only asset for poor people, something they struggle to guard at all costs.

    • Anita
      June 15, 2016

      Yes, that was the case for Mom and eventually it will be for me too if I should ever get medicaid. I worry about my new house being taken from my kids someday. I want to stay as healthy as possible and hope like crazy I live out my life without nursing home care. Everything does come at a price.

      • carenowplease
        June 16, 2016

        It’s the American dream isn’t it, try to save enough money to educate the next generation, try to pay for a property so your kids inherit and get a better start…

        • Anita
          June 16, 2016

          Yup, the American dream, that is sure to disappear in a heartbeat.

  2. Julie V
    June 14, 2016

    I would contact your Medicaid Estate Recovery office (maybe there was a contact phone number in your letter) and discuss the matter with them. It may be that the paperwork you were sent is automatically generated and sent by law when a recipient passes on. Could be they just need to have you tell them there is no estate to recover expenses from. Also, I would contact those billing you, give them your mom’s Medicaid info and have them bill Medicaid right away. After talking with Medicaid if you still cannot resolve the matter.. ask for a fair hearing and contact info for low income legal aid.

    • Anita
      June 14, 2016

      Its all been taken care of now. Thanks for the suggestions though.

      • mem37814
        June 14, 2016

        great. I know that is a lot of stress taken off u…

  3. KAYTHEGARDENER
    June 13, 2016

    Dear Anita,
    ASAP, call upon your local state representative & senator to work on your behalf with this state agency & mention that you are a long-time voter. (Email or phone call, with USPO certified mailing of your documents to follow).
    Send a copy of the notice, along with the past couple of years of your mom’ statements of “NO ASSETS” that you filed on her behalf as proof of your claims.
    They can coordinate whose staffer will handle your case. You are correct that an immediate firm response is needed. You don’t want your affairs frozen as well!!
    Good luck & I will be praying for you, KMC

    • Anita
      June 14, 2016

      Thank you for the suggestion its all taken care of now.

  4. boblosan
    June 13, 2016

    My thoughts and prayers are with you right now. Please give us a follow up to this and let us know how it went. You are absolutely right – they can’t take what you don’t have.

    • Anita
      June 14, 2016

      I got it taken care of this morning. Simply a matter of formality to do things legally.

  5. Kathleen Wood
    June 13, 2016

    Anita,
    I know its harder to say then do , but breathe, I really don’t think that they can get you to pay. one hand just doesn’t know what the other one is doing.
    My Mom didn’t even have enough to go through Probate, she had given everything away like her car to my brother and furniture to people she wanted to have certain things. I was her Power of Attorney and Executor of her Will.. I never had to pay anything. Her last 2 weeks she was in the hospital. as far as I know they just wrote it off, but that was 20 yrs ago.
    If it all boils down and they STILL want you to pay, I have a friend that received a bill for his wife’s hospital stay before she died and it was close to half a million…..he pays them $20.00 a month and they have no say about it. I still don’t think that they will make you pay.
    More then likely someone just hasn’t done their job…paperwork sitting on their desk waiting.
    Hope it all works out for you Anita…my thoughts and prayers are with you 😀
    Kathleen

    • Anita
      June 14, 2016

      Mom didn’t have enough to probate either. They were just following legalities. It seemed absurd at first but now I see the reason for it. There might be some who try to hide assets.

  6. kathi
    June 13, 2016

    so sorry Anita. What an insane mess. The “almighty buck” has destroyed so much. Ok. not the buck. those in quest of it. the love of it. etc. A million bucks. yeah, SURE don’t we all have that just laying around? WEll, there goes the quilting time for research and paperwork, huh? so sorry my friend. sending prayers and a big hug.

    • Anita
      June 14, 2016

      Kathi, your cyber hugs are always so warm and make my world feel better. I’m sending hugs and prayers back at you so your world feels better too. Stay away from those bees and hug Darling David for me, K?

  7. Jackie
    June 13, 2016

    Ridiculous!

    • Anita
      June 14, 2016

      You got that right! Sometimes I see the ridiculous and have a good laugh.

  8. Donna
    June 13, 2016

    So sorry you have to deal with this bureaucratic stupidity. Hang tuff! Praying for your peace and everything working out for you.

    • Anita
      June 14, 2016

      Things like that don’t usually worry me. Mostly I look at the stupidity of the situation and have a good laugh.

  9. mem37814
    June 13, 2016

    here near me is a Legal Aid Office for people who can not afford an attorney. Mayb u have something likt that where u live?

    • Anita
      June 14, 2016

      I’ve got it all taken care of now. Thanks for the suggestion though.

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This entry was posted on June 13, 2016 by in GRANDMA MAMA, JUST THINKING, MOM and tagged , , .

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