Although nobody likes to think ahead to a time of life when they are not in good health and cannot take care of their own basic needs, most of us will need long-term care. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 69% of people aged 65 today are likely to need long-term care. Of those who do, 20% will need long-term care for more than 5 years. At a cost of anywhere from $5,000- $10,000 per month, long-term care can quickly bankrupt a family. With careful and early planning, however, the impact of long-term care costs can be reduced. Our experienced long-term planning attorneys can help.
What if I Run out of Money to Pay for Long-Term Care?
For those who truly cannot afford long-term care, applying for Medicaid is a good option. There are strict limits on what a Medicaid recipient can own or earn, but if these are met, Medicaid can cover all costs. Applying for Medicaid can be a complicated process, but there are ways to make sure you are eligible, even if you think you have too many assets. Careful asset and estate planning can protect some of the assets for the spouse or family while still allowing the person needing the care to qualify. Our law firm focuses on estate planning and elder law, and we can help with this process.
Is Long-Term Care Insurance a Good Idea?
While long-term care insurance can cover some nursing home or assisted-living costs, it is quite expensive and often does not cover everything. If you have not gotten long-term care insurance early in life, the cost may be exorbitantly high, and you may not be able to pass a physical if one is required. Should you be in the group of Americans who spend 5 years or longer in a nursing home, your long-term care insurance could run out, depending on the terms of your particular plan. For some people, however, long-term care insurance can be a good option if it is purchased early in life.
Is There a Way to Keep Our House in One of Us Goes into a Nursing Home?
If one spouse goes into a nursing home while the other still lives in the home, the home is not counted in assets for Medicaid eligibility and will not be sold to cover expenses. This is also true if there is a disabled adult child in the family. If the nursing home resident is single, the house can be seized and sold to cover the expenses of long-term care unless careful estate and asset planning have been done ahead of time. Medicaid has a 5 year look-back period, meaning that if you were to transfer the deed of your house to a child or a trust, it will still be considered an asset if the transfer was less than 5 years prior to the Medicaid application. This is one of the reasons that planning for long-term care costs should happen sooner rather than later. Dudeck Law Firm can help! Call us today.