Long-term care is not cheap. In fact, it is down-right expensive. The average annual cost of a nursing home room in the Cleveland Metropolitan area is $73,912.50. Moreover, betting that your parents will not need long-term care is a gamble that your parents will certainly lose. Seventy Percent (70%) of people over age 65 will need long term care during their lifetimes and no, Medicare won’t pay for it. 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.
With cost like that, long-term care can quickly deplete most people’s savings.
But can’t my parents just go on Medicaid? Because Medicaid’s resource limit is so low (currently $1,500 for a single person) without proper planning, your parents will have to deplete all their savings before they can qualify. Moreover, if you are thinking that they 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 5 years of the time of Medicaid application, there is a penalty period equal to the value of the transfer. Hence, your parents could be left without any money or government assistance to pay for the care they need.
With odds like that, you and your parents may be tempted to simply bury your heads in the sand. Allow me to suggest a better solution.
Make a Plan.
Yes, planning is the key to preserving your parent’s hard earned money before it is consumed by long-term care costs.
Elizabeth L. Perla, Esq.
Law Offices of Randall M. Perla
Cleveland Medicaid Planning Attorneys
19443 Lorain Road
Fairview Park, Ohio 44126
Phone (440) 333-2503
Fax (440) 333-9650