Shirley Boucaud wasn’t sure if the round-the-clock home care her husband needed was going to be a long-term possibility when Medicaid discontinued his eligibility.
Boucaud is herself a nurse who sometimes cares for husband Renol Boucaud, 66, a former police officer and hospital worker who was stricken with Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. Boucaud, who lives in Allerton, had gotten approval from Medicaid for 24-hour home care service when he was released from a nursing home in September 2009 following treatment for Parkinson’s. The disease has not only damaged Renol’s nerves, but also left him suffering from dementia and hallucinations.
Particularly disturbing was that Renol had been denied 24-hour care from Medicaid after receiving care from a home health aide for several months. Shirley Boucaud was then told that he was not entitled to have a home health aide because of a cash value life insurance policy in his name that had recently been paid out. The Medicaid “spend-down” issue was jeopardizing her husband’s care.
“I had to use that money to pay my mortgage,” Shirley Boucaud said. “Even though my husband was very sick, they told me that he was not entitled to receive Medicaid anymore.”
Shirley Boucaud said that her husband was receiving home care through the end of the year before she was told he was no longer eligible. She contacted Senator Jeff Klein’s office after finding it futile to try to fund the home health aid through the couple’s own resources.
Klein’s office was able to gather documentation showing that Renol Boucaud was entitled to round-the-clock home care services based on medical recommendations from Boucaud’s original home care provider, Bronx Casa.
However, Medicaid officials believed Boucaud was no longer eligible for the home care services. Klein’s office then contacted the New York State Department of Health and set up a Fair Hearing on behalf of the Boucauds. They then reached out to a public benefits advocate to make sure Renol had skilled representation at the hearing. When all of the facts were presented to a judge, it was ordered that his entitlement to home care be reinstated.
In order to guarantee that the hearing’s provisions were carried through, Klein’s office again contacted the DOH and Alpine Home Care to make sure that Renol Boucaud got the care he needed.
“I am extremely glad to know that Mr. Boucaud is now receiving the home care services he is entitled to,” Klein said. “No senior should be denied care or services that can improve their comfort and well-being.”
Shirley Boucaud said she was grateful for Klein’s hard work and persistence on behalf of her husband.
“Constant attention and assistance from a home health care aid are absolutely necessary to maintain my husband’s health,” Shirley Boucaud said. “Without the persistence of Senator Klein’s office I would have never been able to provide the care Renol requires on my own.”