As Cincinnati Medicaid lawyers, we address long-term care matters each and every day. There are certainly some misconceptions out there, so you should educate yourself so that you are prepared for realities that you may face as a senior citizen. In this blog post, we will share five things that you should definitely know about long-term care.
Most seniors will need it.
When you have been able to handle all of your own day-to-day needs throughout your life, it can be hard to imagine a time when you will require help on a daily basis. This is understandable, but you have to think about how life may be when you are in your late 70s, 80s, and beyond. The United States Department of Health and Human Services tells us that most senior citizens will eventually need living assistance, and many of them will reside in nursing homes. Over 8 million people receive long-term care annually, and almost 1.4 million of them are nursing home residents.
Medicare won’t pay for long-term care.
Since Medicare is a government health insurance program that is in place to help senior citizens, and most of them will need long-term care, you would assume that Medicare would pay for it. Though it may not make sense to some people, in reality, Medicare will not pay for a stay in a long-term care facility or nursing home. The program will not pay for in-home custodial care either, so you are on your own from a financial perspective if you need help with your activities of daily living at some point in time.
Nursing homes are very expensive.
It is not easy to get out a checkbook to pay for nursing home care out-of-pocket, unless you have extremely deep pockets. We practice in the state of Ohio, and in our state, the average cost for a year in a nursing home is right around $80,000. If you spend considerable time in a nursing home after residing in a long-term care community for a number of years, your legacy could be consumed by long-term care costs.
Medicaid can provide a solution.
The Medicaid program is jointly administered by the state government and the federal government. This program will pay for nursing home care if you can gain eligibility, but it is complicated, because there is a $2000 limit on countable assets. Plus, there is a five-year look back period.
If you give away assets within five years of submitting your application for Medicaid coverage, your eligibility is delayed. To explain the penalty period by way of example, as we have stated, nursing home care costs $80,000 a year. For the purposes of this example, let’s say that you gave away $240,000 within this five-year interim. Under these circumstances, your eligibility for Medicaid would be delayed by three years, because you gave away enough to pay for three years of care.
We should point out the fact that some items that you own are not considered to be countable for Medicaid eligibility purposes. Your home is exempt, but there is an equity limit that stands at $572,000 at the time of this writing in 2018. If you are married, and your spouse is going to remain in the home living independently, there would be no equity limit at all.
A single vehicle that is used as a primary means of transportation is not counted, and wedding rings, engagement rings, and heirloom jewelry are not countable assets. An applicant may retain ownership of household goods and personal effects, and unlimited term life insurance is allowable. Burial plots are not counted, and $1500 worth of whole life insurance can be retained.
Our Cincinnati Medicaid lawyers can help!
As you can see, it is possible to gain eligibility for Medicaid to pay for long-term care. However, it takes careful and informed planning to be approved at the right time without losing anything in the process. If you would like to discuss your options with one of our Cincinnati Medicaid lawyers, we would be more than glad to accommodate you.
We know that it can be disconcerting to discuss personal matters with an attorney that you just met, but you can rest assured that you will feel perfectly comfortable working with our firm. If you are ready to take action, you can send us a message through our contact page to request a consultation appointment. You can also reach us by phone at 513-721-1513.