Nursing home planning is important for many reasons. One of the big reasons is that patients can face trouble in Ohio nursing homes because of understaffed nursing homes, poorly trained staff, and nursing home policies that focus more on making money than on providing high quality care for patients. In some cases, seniors are neglected due to problems in nursing homes, but nursing home abuse is also a serious problem and can put seniors at risk of devastating injuries and premature death.
Many people assume that they will be able to pay for nursing home care with their insurance. Unfortunately, this is likely not going to be the case. In most situations, insurance does not cover nursing home costs. Medicare and the majority of private insurance companies pay for a limited duration of time for skilled nursing care, like having bandages changed if you had surgery and need immediate follow-up care by trained professionals. However, if you only need custodial care — which is the care most seniors need as they get older or develop conditions like Alzheimer’s – then you won’t have coverage through your insurer and will either have to pay out of pocket, have long-term care insurance or get Medicaid to pay for care if you can qualify for Medicaid.
Since insurance does not cover nursing home care in most situations, it can be difficult to know how you can pay for nursing home expenses. Long-term care insurance policies can be very expensive and their coverage can be somewhat restrictive. If you don’t have a long term care policy and neither Medicare nor any other insurance you have will cover care, you may have to pay privately. This can cost more than $100,000 a year. Your only other alternative could be trying to get Medicaid to pay for care. However, Medicaid will only pay if you have limited assets because people with too many resources are disqualified from getting covered. You’ll either have to spend your money on nursing home care until you have reduced your countable assets to the point below which you can get Medicaid to cover your care or you will need to make a Medicaid plan to try to protect as many of your assets as possible in order to get Medicaid to cover you.
Medicaid planning is one of the most important parts of nursing home planning since you need to ensure you make a plan to qualify for Medicaid as soon as you need to get care. Medicaid planning can be done in a crisis if you need care right away and want to protect as many of your assets as possible. However, it is usually best and easiest to protect assets if you begin the Medicaid planning process early.
Beginning early is vital because of the Medicaid lookback period. The Medicaid lookback period lasts for five years. When you need care, Medicaid will look back to determine if you made any transfers of assets in the prior five years that could result in a temporary disqualification from Medicaid coverage.
Zimmer Law Firm can provide assistance in getting Medicaid to cover the costs of your nursing home care and can help you with all other aspects of nursing home planning including finding ways to research homes so you can find a care facility that will provide you with the highest quality of life possible.
It is important that you take steps today to protect yourself so you and your family aren’t left struggling to find a home in an emergency and so you and your loved ones don’t end up losing a substantial amount of family assets due to high nursing home bills. To find out more about nursing homes, qualifying for Medicaid and all other aspects of making a comprehensive plan if you need long term care, give us a call today.