As elder law attorneys, we are concerned about important matters that confront senior citizens. Unfortunately, some of these eventualities are not very pleasant to contemplate, but it is important to prepare yourself in advance. With this in mind, you should understand some facts about aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and long-term care costs.
Huge Gap in Medicare Coverage
If you pay into the program sufficiently throughout your life, you will qualify for Medicare coverage when you reach the age of 65 under currently existing laws. This program will provide reasonably solid health insurance, but there are out-of-pocket expenses that you must pay on your own.
In addition to these deductibles, co-payments, and premiums, there is one area that is completely uncovered by Medicare. That program does not pay for long-term care. This is something that should get your attention, because the vast majority of senior citizens will eventually need help with their activities of daily living.
Some Thoughts on Aging
When think about living assistance, you may envision a time when you may need some help from your family members to take care of certain physically taxing responsibilities. Without question, there are millions of people that are in this position, and they function quite well with a little bit of assistance here and there.
This is typically going to be the dynamic when you are in your late 60s or 70s, but things can change quite dramatically as the years pass.
Until you have been there, it is difficult to imagine what life may be like when you are in your eighties and perhaps older. This being stated, if you are fortunate enough to live until you are 67 years of age, your life expectancy is 85 years if you are a man, and 87 if you are a woman.
This means that it is likely that you will experience life as an octogenarian if you live long enough to receive your full Social Security benefit. Clearly, most of us expect to do so.
The Alzheimer’s Association does a lot a fantastic work, and they have a treasure trove of useful information on their website. They have found that four out of every 10 people that are 85 years of age and older have contracted this disease. Its widespread nature is eye opening, and it impacts many families in our country and around a world.
If you are a Cincinnati area resident that is impacted by Alzheimer’s disease in some way, there are resources available through the Alzheimer Association. On other side of the coin, if you would like to provide assistance, they are always looking for volunteers. You can visit this page to learn about the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and they can be reach by phone at 800-272-3900.
Nursing Home Expenses
Many people with Alzheimer’s disease are eventually going require a level of care that can only be received in a nursing home. As we have stated, Medicare does not cover long-term care, and nursing homes are extremely expensive. According to Genworth Financial, the median charge for a year in a private room in a nursing home in the Cincinnati area is $98,550.
A married couple may be confronted with two different instances of nursing home costs, so the monetary carnage can be considerable. How can you protect your legacy given this harsh reality?
The solution for most people is Medicaid. This government health insurance program will pay for a stay in a nursing home. However, there is a low asset limit of just $2000. Some things that you own do not count, and program rules are complicated, so you should discuss the details with one of our elder law attorneys.
It is possible to give gifts to your loved ones to qualify for Medicaid. This could be looked at as an exercise in distributing inheritances in advance. Careful planning is very important here, because you have to complete all divestitures at least five years before you apply to obtain coverage in a timely manner.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
If you would like to discuss this or any other elder law or estate planning matter with a knowledgeable member of our firm, we would be more than glad to help. You can send us a message to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone at 513-721-1513.