Long Term Care Planning- Don’t Despair, Prepare!

Why Should I Plan?     

Seventy Percent (70%) of people over age 65 will need long term care during their lifetimes.  However, as the average annual cost of a nursing home room in the Cleveland Metropolitan area is $73,912.50, such care can quickly deplete all of your savings. 

Won’t Medicare Cover my Care?

Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care costs.  Even if a number of criteria are met Medicare only covers the cost of a skilled nursing facility for up to 20 days, with the possibility of an additional 80 days on a co-payment basis.  The average nursing home stay is 2.4 years.

What about Long-Term Care Insurance?             

AARP estimates that a 65-year-old in good health can expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,000 a year for a policy that covers nursing-home and home care.  If you can afford to comfortably pay the premiums for the rest of your life then long-term care insurance may be a good option.  However, if you cannot afford the premiums or if you outlive your long-term care insurance coverage, you are likely going to need Medicaid.

What is Medicaid and how will I Qualify?

Medicaid provides free long-term care as long as certain income and resource requirements are met.  However, because Medicaid’s resource limit is so low (currently $1,500) without proper planning, you will have to deplete all your resources before you can qualify.  Moreover, if you are thinking that you can simply give the assets away to a family member or loved one, you may want to reconsider.  For any assets transferred for less than fair market value within 60 months of the time of Medicaid application, there is a penalty period equal to the value of the transfer.  Hence, you could be left without any money or government assistance to pay for the care you need. 

Don’t Despair, Prepare!

There are many planning opportunities available in order to not only preserve as much of your savings as possible for you and your loved ones, but also to improve the financial situation of your spouse should you need long term care.  The earlier you begin to plan the better.

Contacting a Medicaid Planning Attorney could save you and your loved ones thousands of dollars should you find yourself in any of the following situations:

You or Your Spouse is Seriously Ill.

You are Considering Applying for Medicaid

You Have Been Denied Medicaid Coverage. 

You Live in a Loved One’s Home or are Considering Moving in with a Loved One.

You are Cared for by a Loved One.