Medicaid Long-Term Care Planning

Medicaid Long-Term Care Planning

As we age, many of us neglect to take into account our own long term care needs when meeting with our estate planning attorney and planning our estate. In fact, many existing estate plans do not account for long term care. Often, the focus is solely on the creation of a Will or Trust to pass our inheritance to our beneficiaries. A well drafted estate plan will take into account that we may require long term care services as we become dependent upon others to assist and provide care for us.

Without a well drafted long term care plan in place, an estate may lose most of its value and there may be little if any assets to pass to our loved ones through our will or trust. In addition to the financial strain of not having a long term care plan, our loved ones who are providing care and assistance for us can face some really difficult challenges.

Medicare does not cover nursing home costs; however, other government programs may be available. With proper planning and implementation you may be able to protect your family’s asset from nursing home costs and to avoid the devastating effect that these costs can have on your life savings.

Our law firm is committed to helping seniors and their families and has experience developing long term care plans, helping you successfully save your estate from being spent down in order to pay for any nursing home costs.

How much does long-term care cost?
Louisiana long-term care costs average over $5000 per month, which is much less expensive than in most states. The average nursing home stay in Louisiana is 2-3 years. Accordingly, the average cost of care ($120,000 to $180,000) can ruin many nest eggs. Accordingly, it is vitally important that you contact a lawyer trained in Elder Law and Medicaid and long-term care planning.

Doesn't Medicare pay for long-term care?
No. This is one of the most common misconceptions of seniors. Although Medicare covers short-term rehabilitation,  it does not cover custodial care at home or in a nursing home. Although Medicare may cover heart surgery or strokes, it does not cover chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. If you meet strict requirements, you may receive up to 100 days of Medicare coverage for skilled nursing care in a nursing home; however, there are significant co-payments that will be due. Some people have Medigap insurance policies which cover these co-payments. If you need help with activities of daily living (often referred to as “ADLs”) such as eating, bathing, toileting, or transferring in and out of bed, these are considered custodial needs and are not covered by Medicare. Accordingly, planning by an elder law attorney is critical to determine what benefits and resources may be available to cover the costs of nursing home care. (Wartime veterans may be entitled to pension benefits that would help to offset costs of care related to ADLs, home care, and assisted living. Ruston VA accredited attorney Add Goff can assist in determining what benefits to which you may be entitled.)

If I or a family member needs long-term care immediately, what are our options?
Although an ounce of prevention is often worth a pound of cure, sometimes life happens and it is too late. Elder law attorneys refer to this situation as Medicaid crisis planning or Medicaid crisis management. Depending on your monthly income and current assets, an experienced elder law attorney can often come up with a plan to obtain the resources sufficient to provide long-term care at a skilled nursing facility, while still maintain a sizable portion or all of your life savings and assets.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?
Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance that is designed to cover long-term care if you need it in the future. There are a number of premium-based policies that are available, but the underwriting process is often stringent. They usually require you to be in good health and to be without certain preexisting conditions. Depending on the type of policy, premiums have to be paid for life. Due to the increasing cost of health care and the fact that people are living longer, many companies are no longer offering this type of insurance. Other options include life insurance policies with long-term care riders and a few asset-based policies. The elder law attorneys at Goff and Goff consider various strategies for covering the costs of long-term care, including long-term care insurance.


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Copyright 2018 Goff & Goff Attorneys P.C. | Disclaimer and Required Disclosures | A Website Design by Ahrens Technologies

Copyright 2018 Goff & Goff Attorneys P.C. | Disclaimer and Required Disclosures | A Website Design by Ahrens Technologies