People sometimes like to ignore unpleasant realities hoping that they will just go away, but obviously, this is a recipe for disaster. From an elder law perspective, far too many people adopt this approach when it comes to potential nursing home costs. In this post, we will explain why it is important to prepare for these expenses in advance.
Just about everyone would expect to live long enough to collect a Social Security benefit. Depending on the year of your birth, you will become eligible when you are somewhere between 66 and 67 years of age under the current parameters.
There is a life expectancy calculator on the Social Security Administration website. If you were you to use this tool to determine your life expectancy on your 67th birthday, you would find that it is 85 years if you are a man, and 87 years for a woman.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the oldest segment of the population is growing faster than any other. When you digest these facts, you can see that there is a very good chance that you will experience life as an octogenarian.
If you are thinking that a small percentage of people actually require nursing home care, we have some enlightening news for you. Approximately 35 percent of seniors will eventually spend time receiving custodial care in a nursing facility, and Alzheimer’s disease is a leading cause.
It strikes about one third of people that are 85 years of age and older. Of course, it is not the only reason why elders spend time in nursing homes.
Nursing Home Costs
Most people would find it very difficult to comfortably pay nursing home expenses out of their own pockets. The state of Ohio estimates the average monthly charge for a nursing home stay at $6,905. This number is for the entire state of Ohio. In the greater Cincinnati area, the number it is actually quite a bit higher than that, and costs have been rising. We typically see an average cost of somewhere close to $10,000.
Medicare Won’t Help
The vast majority of senior citizens will qualify for Medicare when they reach the age of 65. This government health insurance program will provide a solid underpinning, but it does not cover nursing home care. It will pay for convalescent care after an injury or illness, but Medicare does not assist with custodial care costs.
Fortunately, there is a widely embraced solution in the form of Medicaid. This jointly administered federal/state government health insurance program does cover nursing home costs.
You are probably aware of the fact that Medicaid is only available to people with a significant level of financial need. It is possible to give assets to loved ones to get resources out of your own name so you can qualify for Medicaid to pay for long-term care.
Many people do in fact go this route, but it takes careful advance planning to implement this nursing home asset protection strategy. This is because of the five-year look back period. All of the gift giving must be completed at least five years before you submit your application for coverage.
If you violate this rule, you have to sit out a period of ineligibility. Simply put, if you gave away enough to pay for one year of nursing home care, your eligibility would be delayed by two years.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
As you can see, you should develop a plan to address the eventualities of aging so that you can preserve your legacy for the benefit of your loved ones. We can gain an understanding of your situation and provide the appropriate recommendations so that you can put a rock solid plan in place.
You do not have to worry about undue exposure to COVID-19, because we are offering consultations through telephone and video conferencing. To request an appointment, send us a message or give us a call at 513-721-1513.
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