Nursing homes are the first thing that pops into mind when there is a mention of long-term care. However, long-term care is not limited to just nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Long-term care includes any type of care for a person who has any disability and chronic illness that renders them incapable of caring for themselves. Early planning is crucial when drafting a long-term care plan. If you are considering getting a long-term care plan for yourself or someone you love, you should immediately start looking for an elder law attorney near me.
Long-term care is often used to refer to assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or both.
In this blog, find out answers to some questions regarding long-term care plans.
Paying for long-term care
On average, nursing home stays are anywhere between two to three years. In some states, the cost of nursing home care is a whopping $10,000 per month. A majority of people are concerned about paying for these facilities. People often create a plan for paying out the nursing home bills and eventually switch to another type of payment.
Here are some of the options for paying off a long-term care plan.
People who have accumulated significant wealth over the years can consider privately paying for the long-term care out from their savings. However, since nursing home care is costly, only a few people can afford to pay privately for the care. If you are planning to go for nursing home care, you should first look for elder abuse attorney near me Virginia Beach.
In case you don’t have sufficient funds to pay for the nursing home care, your elder lawyer may suggest a Medicare plan. Medicare is offered to people who are 65 and older. Medicare plans cover most hospital stays but don’t cover long-term care. Even if a person is eligible for Medicare coverage, the insurance will only cover 100 days of nursing home stay. During that time, one may have to pay a deductible also.
Medicaid is a needs-based program run by the state and federal government for people who are in need of medical care but are financially incapable. Each state is responsible for administrating and implementing the program. Medicaid initiative is aimed at helping people pay for their nursing home care through waiver programs. However, the program doesn’t cover assisted living facilities.
If you are considering applying for Medicaid, you must be aware that the program has strict eligibility requirements. One must fulfill the income and asset requirements laid by the program. Thorough Medicaid planning is essential, or else you will have to spend down your assets to become eligible for the program. If you think you will require Medicaid in the future, you should make a plan beforehand.
There is a special veterans’ Benefits plan designed exclusively for war veterans and their spouses in the U.S. If you or your spouse has served the nation during wartime, there are chances you may qualify for the Aid & Attendance pension. Similar to the Medicaid program, there are specific income and asset requirements for qualification. However, the eligibility rules are not that stringent.
Although the pension doesn’t cover the whole long-term care plan, it does allow a person to avoid Medicaid.
What can I do today?
While no one likes to think that a chronic illness or disability will happen in their family, the fact is that one in two people will need long-term care at some point in the future. It is crucial that everyone has a plan for how they will pay for this care in the event that a family member needs long-term care in the future.
Get an Airtight Estate Plan
Each person over the age of 18 needs some type of estate plan. If you do not record your wishes for how you want your assets distributed after you die or how you want to be taken care of if you are incapacitated, the state will make these decisions for you.
An experienced estate planning attorney can help you create a trust or show you other ways of protecting your assets from the cost of long-term care in the future.
Apply for Long-Term Care Insurance
If you are relatively young and healthy, you may want to consider purchasing long-term care insurance. This type of insurance will cover some or all of the cost of any long-term care in the event that you need it in the future.
Visit an Elder Law Attorney
If you or a loved one is facing the immediate possibility of long-term care, it is crucial that you visit an experienced elder law attorney as soon as possible. Elder law attorneys can help you shield between 50 and 100% of your assets from being spent down on Medicaid – even if you need to go into a nursing home within the next month.
Hire an Elder Care Coordinator
Many caregivers and children of seniors needing long-term care do not live nearby or have work or family obligations that prevent them from being the advocate their family member needs when looking for long-term care options. At Alperin Law, we have an elder care coordinator on staff who can help coordinate with nursing homes, provide you with facility information and options, and lend a helping hand in all aspects of this difficult process.