Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in Florida
The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in Florida expands health care and independent living choices to the aging population residing within the state. Florida’s PACE program is part of a nationwide network of over 30 locations that provide comprehensive medical care and social services to qualifying senior citizens residing within a PACE service area. PACE services are intended to help senior citizens who have multiple health problems continue to live in their community for as long as possible instead of being placed into a nursing home. Participants must meet specific participation requirements, including being eligible to receive nursing home-level care. Potential applicants can review the sections below to learn more about PACE services in Florida, how to qualify for PACE and how to apply for the PACE program.
What are the Benefits of Participating in PACE?
Florida PACE program participants have their health care and social services needs managed by one interdisciplinary team comprised of physicians and other clinicians. Senior citizens eligible for PACE benefits can often remain living in their own homes or in the home of a loved one longer than they would be able to without this type of assistance. PACE services not only meet the physical needs of the elderly participant but include caregiver training and respite services, making it a program that includes the family and friends already assisting the senior citizen. PACE services in FL are usually offered at an adult day care center, which allows seniors to have vital social interaction and therapies during the day when their primary caregiver might be at work or school.
Services Provided by PACE in Florida
PACE services in Florida include all Medicare and Medicaid services and a wide range of additional amenities. Seniors who enroll in PACE may find that services vary somewhat by location and between enrollees, because the program is individually tailored to meet each participant’s unique needs. PACE program services include medical care from primary care physicians and specialists, necessary over-the-counter and prescription medications, and transportation to medical and social appointments. PACE services include various types of therapies commonly needed by senior citizens, and nutritional assistance in the form of nutritional counseling and providing nutritious meals. Social services form the heart of the PACE program and include adult day care, in-home counseling and health care, preventative health care and personal care services. Seniors who meet eligibility requirements for Medicare or Medicaid should also check PACE eligibility to see if they can receive any additional services.
PACE Providers in Florida
The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly in Florida is currently offered at four locations in the central to southern parts of the state. Areas with a PACE program include Charlotte, Collier, Lee, Broward and Pinellas counties, as well as the Miami-Dade area and most ZIP Codes in and around Palm Beach. Interested participants may apply for PACE at any of these locations. Obtain contact information for PACE by calling the State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ Elder Helpline number at (800) 963-5337 or call the Florida PACE Providers Association at (855) 435-7223.
Eligibility Requirements for PACE Participation
The PACE program is intended to help senior citizens with disabilities or health conditions live independently in their community for as long as possible. PACE eligibility in Florida is contingent on the applicant meeting the following requirements. To enroll in PACE, you must:
- Be an adult 55 years of age or older.
- Reside within the service area of a Florida PACE center.
- Meet the medical need requirements as defined by the Florida Comprehensive Assessment and Review for Long-Term Care Services (CARES).
- Be physically able to live safely in the community with the support of the PACE program.
- Be eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare coverage benefits, or Medicaid only.
Seniors who do not qualify for Medicaid may choose to participate in a FL PACE program through a self-pay option that includes a premium for PACE services as well as a premium for Medicaid Part D prescriptions.
For more information on PACE eligibility requirements, click here for our comprehensive guide.
How to Enroll in PACE
The PACE application process in Florida can be lengthy and requires visits between the applicant’s home and the PACE center. When a senior wants to apply for PACE, the PACE staff member is required to fully explain the program to the applicant as well as his or her primary caregiver or legal representative. After explaining the PACE program, the applicant or representative must sign a release allowing PACE access to the participant’s medical and financial records. This part of the PACE application process helps determine if the applicant meets the basic eligibility requirements.
The next step to enroll in PACE is undergoing an assessment performed by CARES. It is this organization’s job to make sure that the applicant can safely continue living in the community with the support network necessary for PACE success. Next, PACE eligibility is further determined by a PACE program enrollment assessment conducted by the members of the IDT. PACE program staff will make a treatment and health care management plan and create a personalized enrollment agreement for the participant to review and sign. The PACE program enrollment agreement is a booklet that outlines personal information and each step of the new enrollee’s PACE plan of services. If for some reason, PACE eligibility is denied, applicants have the right to appeal the decision.
For more details on the PACE application process, click here for our comprehensive guide.
What Assistance Benefits Does the Department of Children and Families Provide?
Various assistance benefits are available to residents of Florida through the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Families can receive benefits that allow them to buy nutritious groceries, save money on school lunch for their children and obtain temporary financial assistance. Additionally, petitioners who qualify for one assistance program are also typically eligible for other benefits in Florida. Find out how to qualify for benefits through Florida’s DCF and how to apply for them by downloading our comprehensive guide.
Who Can Receive Assistance Benefits in Florida?
Each assistance program offered through Florida’s Department of Children and Families has various eligibility qualifications that petitioners must meet in order to enroll. Household size and income are only a few factors that are typically taken into account. For more details on eligibility for Florida DCF assistance programs, download our guide.