Medicaid forces couple to live apart after 63 years of marriage

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, IN (WLFI via CNN) – After 63 years of marriage, one Indiana couple had to separate. But not because they didn’t love each other anymore, the family says it’s because of a flaw in the Medicaid system.

It’s a love story that started 63 years ago.

“Oh, he was handsome,” said Wilma Clauss as she gazed at old photos.

It didn’t take long for Wilma to fall in love with Paul and find herself walking down the aisle.medicaid-couple

But Wilma and Paul Clauss’s love story recently had an unexpected chapter. The couple, now in their late 80s, were living together in an assisted living facility in Lafayette. But after Paul had some unexpected health issues, the couple was separated. Medicaid has now placed Paul at a different assisted living facility.

“Well, we’ve just been together for a long time and I just really miss him,” said Wilma.
The couple’s daughters, Karen and Cyndy, call the situation a nightmare.

“Having to move them to separate facilities has been the hardest thing,” said Cyndy Clauss.
“It’s been extremely hard for the change for my dad. He has dementia. Severe dementia,” said Karen Hood.

“Together they could remember things better. Together they could do a better conversation,” said Cyndy.

But now they only get to see each other during scheduled, weekly visits between the two facilities.
And the daughters say they don’t want to see their parents’ story end like this. And they want to see them continue writing their love story, side-by-side.

“It’s not what they wanted. It’s not what they worked for,” said Cyndy.

“They’ve paid into the system. They’ve paid their Medicare and their Medicaid and I want them to be able to spend their last days together,” said Hood.

“I love him. I just miss having him around,” said Wilma.

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