Elder Law, Medicaid Planning & Guardianship

Medicaid Planning & Asset Protection

Did you know that nursing homes can cost $170,000 of more per year? Many people must use up their life savings and run out of money before qualifying for Medicaid to pick up this cost. One benefit of paying privately is sometimes the better choice of nursing home facility. How ever you look at it, though, it’s very expensive.

There are ways, however, using Federal and State laws, to plan and possibly protect assets.

Marianne S. Rantala, P.C., can help plan ahead of time for the possibility of nursing home care in the future, or can help you deal with unexpected “crisis” situation that may arise, to protect your assets. One way of protecting assets is to buy long term care insurance, if possible. Another would be to apply for government Medicare, Medicaid or Veterans Administration programs. This would help avoid using up your life savings to pay for the high cost of nursing home care.

What About Medicaid?

Medicaid by far covers the majority of long-term nursing home care, after you run out of money. All Americans are entitled to Medicare, which is the health insurance coverage starting at age 65, and covers doctors, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, in the various parts. Medicaid is really a form of public assistance, and you must become “impoverished” in order to qualify for its benefits.

Furthermore, each state operates its own separate Medicaid system and has its own rules, even though it’s a joint federal-state program. Each state’s system must comply with federal guidelines so that the state will receive federal money as a specified percentage of the program’s expenditures. These rules are constantly changing concerning eligibility, restrictions, etc.

The only way to be clear on your rights is to consult with an expert.

Planning ahead for potential future nursing home care is a much better option than acting upon a “crisis” situation, because more assets may be protected and saved for the desired beneficiaries. There are ways to distribute assets in advance, if you don’t need long-term care for quite some time. Everyone’s situation is completely individual because of differences in assets, income, marital status, status of home ownership, and the like, so a general outline of the “rules” is impossible.

Please contact us for a consultation, at (631) 447-2606, to see how you may benefit from Medicaid planning.

What About Medicare?

Medicare (Part A) covers up to 100 days of a nursing home’s skilled care, per illness, but the requirements are very strict and the entire 100 days may not be covered. On average, Medicare pays only about 9% of nursing home care.