Business of being Healthcare Power of Attorney (POA)
Lisa, what do I need to do as Healthcare Power of Attorney (POA)?
This is a duty to another person regarding making decisions on their health outcomes when they cannot make the decisions for themselves. A job that often falls to adult children. Many parents assume their children will make the decisions they want but many adult children have no clue in what Mom or Dad wants.
Prior to the changes in the law, insurances would cap expenses, and leaving bills behind if the cap was reached. Still many have to make the decision if they can afford the care they receive. This becomes a problem for many POAs, who have taken over their parent’s care. What do you pay?
The POA is not required to use any of their money to pay for the parent’s bills. The parent’s money or estate will and should pay for all the expenses the parent has created. Many parents have in place health care funds, insurance policies, bank accounts, and assets that can be sold off to pay the bills.
POAs will find themselves taking time off to do business for parents. POAs should inquire about the Family Leave Act forms that will protect their jobs while taking off to take care of parents.
The real trouble comes about when parents have no assets or funds. POAs then have to make critical decisions on how to care for their loved one when the time comes. Now Medicare will cover most bills and housing in facilities if the parent is over 65. Once Medicaid is applied for and begins, hospice care can be started and other similar services can begin. It may take up to three months for Medicaid. If the parent is in a facility, then the parent’s social security checks will then go to the facility once Medicaid has begun.
Funeral. It will happen. How long you have to get things together will depend. What if the parent has no money? One option for the body is donation to a university. This has to be decided before death and signed off by the owner of the body. Each university has their own requirements. The other option is cremation. This gives the option to be buried with plots costing several hundred dollars to buy and open, wait for a later time to bury, or placed at a location of choice by the parent or adult children. Memorials can be small and meaningful, again keeping cost down.
POA is an unpaid job unless funds and instructions are set aside. It can be a hardship on a family already in crisis.
Mission Statement: "Couturing individual patient's/client's