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Old 07-28-2010, 02:05 PM
Location: Georgia, USA
25,212 posts, read 30,070,230 times
Reputation: 31337


Originally Posted by superk View Post
No, Assisted Living. Trying to move her to a Nursing Home, but that remains a whole other major issue (you can read my other topic on that mess //www.city-data.com/forum/north...eone-into.html).

I'll check those links for Social Security and Medicare.
Assisted living may have a social worker on staff. My mother was placed in a nursing home after strokes left her totally unable to even turn over in bed. There was no way I could care for her at home because she had to have 24 hour care to lift and turn her and I was working.

The social worker was invaluable, especially since my mother's care exhausted her savings and she was on Medicaid for a few months before she died. If the possibility of Medicaid is in your wife's future, there are things you need to know about managing your wife's assets. It can be a costly mess if you don't follow the rules.
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:37 PM
Location: Cartersville, GA
1,256 posts, read 3,068,778 times
Reputation: 1090
Laws regarding power of attorney issues vary from State to State. In Georgia, a POA grants you no authority until a physician has declared that the individual cannot make decisions for himself or herself. It is generally intended to handle situations where one's decision making capacity is impaired on a temporary basis. If you wife is unable to make decisions, a statement from a physician might be needed, in addition to the POA document. If it is unlikely that she will regain a capacity to make decisions for herself, then it's often times best to seek guardianship and conservatorship, which would permanently grant you the authority to make decisions on her behalf, and the authority to access all healthcare records (health care organizations are generally more receptive to a Letter of Guardianship as opposed to a Power of Attorney.) Obtaining guardianship will most likely require a petition to a Court. I am sure a lawyer could tell you how to go about this in NC.

Last edited by ToucheGA; 07-28-2010 at 06:38 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:12 AM
Location: NJ
12,581 posts, read 22,536,604 times
Reputation: 11496
I've been curious about your problems with getting info related to your wife & I didn't understand.. you look like a young guy. I just found one of your posts that answered my questions.

For anyone else wondering -

Originally Posted by superk View Post
I've been in a marriage for 20 years. About 10 years ago my wife tested positive for a progressively disabling and always fatal disease. It's something that, as time has progressed, has affected both of us physically, mentally, and worst of all, financially, and of course really unravelled our marriage. The isolation and lonliness and lack of any personal contact has been unbearable. Her having this disease, since it's genetic, of course negated the possiblity of us having a family.

She's been in an Assisted Living center for the past year and a half, and will shortly be moving into a Nursing Home. So we don't live together, but we are still legally married by law.
I'm pretty sure I responded to one of your posts and told you what to do with medicare -
Set her account up online; you will have access to everything.

I honestly don't understand why the nursing home is giving you problems with her information.

Originally Posted by superk View Post
I am covered under a health plan by my employer. My spouse is also under my plan. I have Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney. She is unable to respond verbally to questions. I constantly get asked, in emergency rooms and doctor's offices, about her prescriptions and her medical history. I usually have to give them a blank stare and a "I don't know" because I don't. I don't have access to all of those details. Everytime I call my insurance carrier, my prescription company, or Medicare, they all tell me that only SHE can request that information. Even doctors within the same hospital can't seem to share those details.

What do I have to do? How do I legally get access to all of her healthcare information? How do I make that information available to healthcare agencies so they don't have to try to ask her if I can't be present? I thought HIPAA was supposed to make accessing this information easier, not lock it down so tight that no one can.
With your health insurance - there is a new law where each person has to fill in a form - my hub did one authorizing them to give me info and I did one authorizing them to give him info. You need to call your insurance and ask them to send the form to you. Once you do that, you attach copies of the power of attorney.

Originally Posted by superk View Post
There are no bottles. All prescriptions, except one, are filled and supplied directly to a RN who assures that she's given the proper dosage at the proper times. How would I know if any of them have changed? I'll bet even the doctor doesn't know. It seems to me for the thousands of dollars I have to payout each month to cover the co-pays that I should darn-well be able to know what I'm paying for when I need to know it.
I assume this RN works at the assisted living home?
I would demand some answers next time I went there in person.
There is no reason you should not get answers because you have the necessary paperwork.
When my dad had cancer, I didn't run into any issues like you are. I was even able to ask for his records.

My one question to you - your profile says you are separated - are you legally separated; as in have filed for divorce? If so, that could be a problem. It's just like Gary Coleman's death - any paperwork he signed before his divorce was nulled when they actually got divorced.

Honestly, you need some help. Is there a social worker available to you?
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:38 AM
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,450 posts, read 9,450,213 times
Reputation: 2084
Hate to bring this topic back up, but ....

I was laid-off in November, so my primary healthcare insurance coverage ended on Nov. 30th. Depending on the terms of COBRA, I may elect to continue coverage under COBRA for myself only.

So, in the meantime, I'm completely in the dark as far as who is responsible for making sure SHE can continue to receive coverage for medical, prescriptions, and durable medical equipment (DME) supplies. Since my original post I have filed a complaint for divorce. My doing so I have also (I didn't know this would happen) been forced by the state to remove myself from her Durable Power of Attorney (it's considered a conflict of interest) agreement.

She's not able to intelligently choose and speak for herself. Medicare told me that there are a lot of Part B plans to choose from, and that the best source of information might be the facility. I called them and they said no, a better source might be the pharmacy itself. I have a message with them that I'm waiting for a callback on.

So, who determines for her what coverage she needs, who her doctors/dentists need to be (if the current ones don't accept Medicare/Medicaid) and whatever else I don't even know about yet?
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:11 PM
29,986 posts, read 38,273,622 times
Reputation: 12784
If you are divorcing your spouse and her mental/physical abilities are too limited to make choices and decisions on her own behalf, then family members or social services may need to have a court declare her incompetant and assign a new POA or make her a ward of the state.

Suggest you consult your divorce attorney.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:05 PM
Location: Cartersville, GA
1,256 posts, read 3,068,778 times
Reputation: 1090
I am guessing that the Social Services Department at the facility where she resides will need to address this issue. I have no idea what the laws are like in NC, but in Georgia, the facility would probably petition the Probate Court for Guardianship. If there were no family who were willing to be a guardian, then the Court would appoint a Guardian for her.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:13 AM
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,930 posts, read 4,423,984 times
Reputation: 7272
If incompetent, she will also need a guardian appointed to "defend" the divorce action.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:28 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,450 posts, read 9,450,213 times
Reputation: 2084
A little follow-up to this. I'll admit right now that I'm WAY over my head in all of this, and I have no idea how I'm supposed to manage someone else's healthcare and financial details. I was searching around to see if there's a local community college course on how to act as a Power of Attorney, but I don't see anything. I see some books in amazon regarding eldercare and being a caregiver. Anyone else ever needed to know this stuff who's not in the medical or legal professions?
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:00 PM
Location: Mostly in my head
19,865 posts, read 57,919,091 times
Reputation: 19182
I had my mother's POA while she was dying and I was her executrix. I also had Healthcare POA. I paid her bills until she died and then I paid her remaining bills after she died, all from the same checking account. What I learned for myself was to have one person hold all 3 positions to simplify matters.

You just do their financial stuff as you would your own. Keep good records of what you spend money on. Depending on the laws of your state, you may be ablet o reimburse yourself for any expenses incurred as a POA, like mileage if you have to go soemwhere specifically for her needs.

As healthcare POA, you decide what medical care she gets. As my mother was 93.5 y/o and dying, I refused any heroic measures, daily glucose checks, daily insulin, daily blood pressure, etc. and put her on Hospice care, which we had thoroughly discussed for years.

If you have more specific questions, send me a DM. I am not an attorney. I think you need an attorney for your state who specializes in elder care to help you get set up; that cost can be charged against her assets. All this assumes you have obtained the POA by now.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:50 AM
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,450 posts, read 9,450,213 times
Reputation: 2084
There is not enough money to pay all of her bills in full. Just one copay on a single prescription uses up the entire amount. As POA, am I legally required to cover the rest of those expenses out of MY pocket? I know that the state is preparing a lawsuit against both of us because they believe that I'm using that money for my own financial gain. I'm not, but I have no way to prove my innocence.
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