We have all experienced our share of illnesses and injuries, so you certainly know what it’s like to be less than 100 percent for a while.
This being stated, it is hard to wrap your head around a time when you will never be able to do many of the things that you took for granted throughout your life. Though this is understandable, you should think long and hard about the challenges that you may face as a senior citizen, such as nursing home care.
The average life span is 78 years, and it is actually at least 85 years once you reach the age of 67 according to the Social Security Administration. Indeed, there is a very good chance that you will live into your 80s, and things can be very different at that time.
Nursing home care can enter the picture at that point, and it is a subject that far too many people simply do not take into consideration. Let’s look at five key facts that every responsible adult should know about long-term custodial care.
It’s a Very Real Possibility
Even if you accept the fact that you are probably going to need some help with your activities of daily living eventually, you may assume that you can rely on family members. This is a common scenario, but there may come a time when you need a level of care that only a nursing home can provide.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services tells us that around 35 percent of all seniors will reside in nursing homes eventually. There are many underlying causes, but Alzheimer’s disease is at the top of the list. It strikes about one third of people that are 85 years of age and older.
Medicare Won’t Cover It
If you work and pay taxes for at least 10 years, or if your spouse has done this, you will qualify for Medicare coverage when you reach the age of 65. That’s the good news, but the bad news is that this program will not pay for a stay in a nursing home.
It will cover the convalescent care that you would receive after some type of health care issue when recovery is anticipated. However, Medicare will not pay for the custodial care that you would receive in a nursing home.
Nursing Home Care Is Very Expensive
Unless you have very deep pockets, it is not easy to write checks for nursing home care without giving it a second thought. According to Genworth Financial, the median annual cost for a private room in a Staten Island and New York City area nursing home in 2020 was $155,125.
That’s bad enough, but costs are likely to rise over the years. Plus, if you are married, you and your spouse may require nursing home care and the expenses will be doubled.
Medicaid Will Pay for Long-Term Care
Medicaid is a jointly administered federal/state government health insurance program that will pay for a stay in a nursing home if you can qualify. This is easier said than done because there is a $15,900 asset limit in New York.
You can establish a Medicaid trust to remove assets from your name in an effort to gain eligibility. This would be an irrevocable trust, and you would not have access to the principal, but you could receive distributions of the trust’s earnings. Plus, if appropriate, you could direct that the trust principal be distributed to your children or other beneficiaries you choose.
Advance planning is the key to the successful execution of this strategy. By planning early you can increase the amount of assets that you can protect and dramatically decrease the worry and anxiety you and your family could experience.
We Can Help You Devise a Plan!
The last and most important thing you need to know about long-term care is the fact that legal assistance is just a mouse click or a phone call away.
A licensed elder law attorney from our firm can gain an understanding of your financial situation and your family dynamic and provide you with the appropriate recommendations. If you decide to go forward, we will help you devise the ideal nursing home asset protection plan.
- What Does the Respect for Marriage Act Mean for Estate Planning? - June 29, 2023
- What Can I Do to Prevent Sibling Disputes Over My Estate? - June 27, 2023
- July Is Disability Pride Month in New York - June 27, 2023