GT IndependenceResources and ToolsResources5 Steps to Get You Started With Controlling Your Own Care in Florida

5 Steps to Get You Started With Controlling Your Own Care in Florida

July 22, 2021

With Florida’s Participant Direction Option (PDO), you get to make all the choices for your long-term care. And you can get support right in your own home and community.  

People choose PDO to manage their care for many reasons. For some people, PDO means you can get support from friends and family (who get paid for their work). For others, it means you can support a loved one who has a disability. Or it may simply be that you want to continue living where you choose as you get older. No matter your situation, PDO allows you to hire the long-term care and support that fits your life. 

What You Can Do With PDO 

  • Self-direct your own care 
  • Hire people you trust to provide support 
  • Schedule the time you receive services 
  • Review and approve your employee’s timesheets 

5 Steps Get Started With PDO 

PDO sounds awesome, right? Getting started can take some time, so don’t wait. If you need long-term care or support, you can start the qualification process right away.

Step 1: Contact Your ADRC and Get Qualified for Medicaid 

To get started, contact your local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). You might also know them as your AAA (Area Agency on Aging), Senior Connection, the Alliance for Aging, or Elder Source. 

The ADRC manages programs and services for elders and people with disabilities in Florida. They work with eleven different Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) as a single system. They give Floridians who need access to long-term care helpful information and access to services. The ADRC can get you any information you need on state and federal benefits, local programs, and available services.  

When you contact your ADRC, they’ll help you complete an assessment. This assessment will check if you qualify for the Medicaid Long-Term Care Program.

Step 2: Get on a Waitlist for the Long-Term Care (LTC) Program 

Based on your assessment, you’ll receive a priority score. This score determines where you fall on the waitlist. If your answers place you high on the waitlist, you’ll be accepted faster into the program. If you’re lower on the waitlist, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. (Want more details? Read up on how the waitlist works.) 

Step 3: Choose Your Health Insurance Company 

Once you qualify for the Long-Term Care program, you can choose your Medicaid health insurance company. These companies are also called managed care organizations (MCOs). After your qualification, you have up to 30 days to make your choice. Otherwise, Medicaid will choose for you. 

Here at GT, we work with Humana and Sunshine Health

Step 4: Discuss Your Options With Your Insurance Case Manager  

After you choose your insurance company, you’ll get a case manager who will help you choose what’s best for you. Discuss your options to control your care with your case manager. Be sure to mention that you are interested in PDO. 

“I’m interested in an option that lets me have full control over my own care. I want to maintain my independence, stay in my own home and community, and make all the decisions about my care.” 

Step 5: Work With GT Independence to Get Support That Fits Your Lifestyle  

GT Independence is a fiscal employer agent (F/EA) company that helps you live a life of your choosing. Once you qualify for PDO, we help you handle the details. For example, with PDO, you can hire direct service workers (also known as caregivers) you know and trust. We support you by taking care of all the necessary paperwork, such as timesheets, paychecks, taxes, and insurance. 

At GT, we believe you should be able to decide where to live and who provides their care. Through Participant-Direction Option (PDO), you can. Each person has a unique situation and personalized needs. And we’re here to help you learn about how PDO works in Florida, so you have the information to decide what is best for you. 

Want More Details? Watch the Self-Determination 101 Webinar

Want help with the process?

We’re here to support you from Step 1.