Long Term Care Planning for Seniors and their Loved Ones.
The fact is, nearly 70% of Americans will require some form of long term care during their lifetime. While this usually applies to the elderly, it doesn’t just happen to them; many young people also wind up needing long term care due to unexpected illness, disability, accidents, and so forth. Long term care generally means medical care and assistance provided by a caregiver while still at home, or by an assisted living or nursing facility.
Long term care can be very expensive. The average cost for one month in a skilled nursing facility is nearly $8,000 per month. In-home health care can cost even more, depending on the types of care provided.
Most people assume that their spouse or children will take care of them if long term care becomes necessary. However, they often don’t think about the financial burden that can place on their loved ones; not to mention that there’s always the possibility that illness, death, divorce and moving away can mean that their spouse or children won’t be around when the need for long term care arises.
With that in mind how can you plan for long term care? An elder law attorney can help you with that.
If you go into a nursing home, you can pay your bill there in one of two ways:
- Private pay at the rate of nearly $8,000/month (possibly with the assistance of long term care insurance, if you’re one of the few Americans that has it), or
- Qualify for Medicaid, which will pay for nearly all of your cost of care in a nursing home.
Obviously, most people would choose Option B. However, Medicaid is a needs-based program; in other words, your income and assets (plus your spouse’s assets, if you’re married) must be under certain limits in order to qualify for Medicaid. Otherwise, you have too much money and are ineligible to receive benefits. These limits are very strict, so most people end up falling in the “between a rock and a hard place” category: they have too much money to outright qualify for Medicaid, but they don’t have enough to write that monthly $8,000 private pay check to the nursing home for very long. Plus, they want to be able to leave something to their spouse or children and not go completely broke first.
That’s where an elder law attorney can help. By using specific planning techniques, it’s possible to qualify for Medicaid while still preserving a large portion of your assets, especially if you start planning before the need for long term care arises. While it’s definitely possible to do “crisis” planning, it’s much easier for everyone involved if you get the ball rolling before there’s an emergency.
Unfortunately, Medicaid’s rules are different from state to state, and Florida has some of the most complex and tricky ones in the country. That’s why it’s important to work with an attorney like myself that’s had years of experience in helping people receive Medicaid benefits, while still making sure their families are provided for and preserving the assets they’ve worked so hard to earn.
If you want to learn more about Florida Medicaid and how you or your loved one might be able to qualify while still preserving your assets, then click here to get started. I’ll be happy to sit down with you and discuss what we can do for your unique situation.