Charity Pooled Trust employees

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The complexity of the Medicaid and Medicare systems is hard enough for young and able-bodied people to understand. For older adults and the disabled living at home, it can be downright disheartening. 

That is where Buffalo, NY-based nonprofit Charities Pooled Trust steps in. The organization, recently founded by insurance brokers Matthew Paulk and Laura Shriver, aims to help those who were previously turned down for Medicaid or Medicare receive government services. 

Staff at the organization work directly with these individuals to help identify their needs and sign them up to receive aid. They then follow up with healthcare agencies to ensure the individuals get approved and are aware of their options.

Paulk, who had been working in the healthcare insurance industry for a little under four years, noticed that many older individuals and disabled persons could not qualify for aid or had difficulty figuring out the healthcare system, and there were very few options available to help them navigate it. 

“Where our services stopped, no one else’s services began,” Paulk told McKnight’s Home Care Daily. 

Seniors often have to compile information from multiple sources and fill out countless forms just to apply for aid, and there are many additional steps after they finally get approved.

“It’s almost as if senior citizens need to recruit their own baseball team in order to receive Medicaid,” Paulk said. “There are so many players and so many people that are involved it can be very confusing.”

Shriver also noticed the need among those who require aid to receive additional services.

“It really began with a necessity and love for our clients and wanting to give them everything that they need,” she stated.

When a person requests services from Charities Pooled Trust, representatives from the organization meet with the individual and provide them with necessary forms and documents for them to sign in order to request approval from Medicaid or Medicare agencies. After the individual is approved, Charities Pooled Trust agents informs that person of all of the services they can receive for free, depending on their preferences. 

“We are not salesmen, we do not sell Medicaid; it’s all free,” Paulk said.

The organization has already helped around 150 individuals, and there are plans to expand throughout New York as well as Pennsylvania. They are currently also providing services in Illinois.

Funding Charities Pooled Trust are four other organizations that Paulk had started, including an insurance agency called Charity Senior Services. Though Paulk aims to help as many people as possible with his businesses, “ultimately, these companies are meant to fund our nonprofit so we can do philanthropy that matters, rapidly, on a large scale,” he said.

In home care, every person’s needs are slightly different, and services can be anything from providing transportation to in-home nursing care. “Seniors and the disabled are incredibly grateful for empathetic customer service that helps them get approved to receive aid,” he said.

“It is not a linear transaction; seniors are coming to us for someone to provide compassion and care and help them in a time where they are most in need,” Paulk added.

This article originally appeared on McKnight's Senior Living