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Insurance Coverage For Home Health Care

Judy  Cannon Stierheim passed on the letter she sent to the governor decrying the failure of insurance to cover home health care, despite the potential savings in money and stress.

Dear Governor Crist:
  I could not sleep as I think about my parents and care for them now that they both have Alzheimer's.  It makes it doubly difficult, as our system of health care only caters to crisis care and not prevention in the home for the elderly.  I thought that you might like to consider something that would have many benefits on many different levels: Consider the pros and cons of proposing that within the State of Florida, homeowner's property assessment would not increase in value if they were to add on a Granny Flat in order to care for their elderly parents....quarters for the parents or parents-in-law, thus giving an inducement for people to make plans to look after their elderly parents in advance of the crisis events in which many end up.  So many people live day to day in stress mode, worrying what is happening to my mother or father in their home alone, or in the nursing home; are they being ill treated? etc. etc. Our insurance system does not give allowances to pay for nursing care in the home and only covers hospital and doctor visits, which in my humble opinion is a very expensive system based on crisis events resulting from lack of preventive care in the home.  I would propose that if a portion of a nurse/care giver's expenses was covered by our insurance for the elderly in their own home, it would be a much more sensible, cost effective and a humane system that puts the patient first.   Now combine these two things:  no property assessment increase for quarters for the elderly parent in the family home and insurance compensation for care givers in the home and you have a win win.  Benefits: - increased opportunity for construction jobs - increased job opportunities for health care workers [independent and agency employees] - reduction in the need for nursing homes - reduction in the demand to police these facilities - reduction in the number of crisis events for the elderly, thus reducing Medicare and Medicaid costs - peace of mind for the elderly and their families - increase in the quality of life for families, strengthening of family values and it's the right thing to do    I am sure that there are many more tangible and intangible benefits that I cannot think of at this hour but know that one of the things that I admire about you is that you are intelligent and will do the right thing and not compromise your principles or the people principle in the State of Florida....Judy Cannon Stierheim


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