It's a fact of life: at some point, most of us will need long-term care. The cost of nursing homes and other forms of extended care can be prohibitive, though.
The average cost of a private room in a nursing home in America is now over $103,000 per year! Medicare and traditional health insurance do not cover nursing home costs. If you don’t have enough money saved up to cover those costs, you may have to apply for Medicaid. But qualifying for Medicaid is a complex process, and there are many asset and resource limits that must be met in order to be eligible for coverage.
However, there are strategies that can help protect yourself and your loved ones from the high cost of long-term care and to qualify for Medicaid if that becomes necessary.
There are potential penalties for failing to properly plan for Medicaid eligibility, so it is important to seek legal assistance if necessary.
There are also other programs that can help pay for long-term care costs besides Medicaid, such as long-term care insurance.
Some common misconceptions about Medicaid planning include that it is only for low-income individuals, or that, "the nursing home will take everything I own." However, Medicaid planning is a complex process that should be undertaken with the help of an experienced attorney.
Medicaid can be an essential tool to help you pay for the high cost of long-term care. We can help you navigate the complex world of Medicaid eligibility and create a plan that's tailored to your unique needs.
Don't wait until it's too late. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation. We'll be happy to answer all of your questions and help you get started on the path to peace of mind.
Nursing Home Costs in the Tri-State Area
A nursing home bed in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will cost somewhere between $7,000 and $16,000 per month.
While that is a wide range, even the lowest end of the spectrum is extremely expensive. Neither traditional health insurance nor Medicare will pay for an extended nursing home stay--which begs the question: How is one to afford the cost of long term care? Often, the answer is Medicaid.
Rigid Resource Limits
The Social Security Administration describes Medicaid as, "a jointly funded, Federal-State health insurance program for low-income and needy people."
As that description suggests, individuals must fall under rigid resource and income limits before qualifying for Medicaid. Those limits vary depending on whether you are single or married.
|$2,000*||One spouse can be on Medicaid while the other "Community Spouse" keeps 1/2 of their overall assets up to $130,380* plus a house, plus a car|
* Ohio and Kentucky also allow single individuals and married couples to keep assets in their IRAs and 401ks under certain conditions
While most people in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky possess resources that exceed the Medicaid limits, various planning, spend-down, and even gifting techniques can be employed to help an individual obtain eligibility.
In addition, a properly drafted trust can be established so that the person receiving Medicaid can hold onto his/her own funds to improve quality of life, and potentially pass on a legacy to children or loved ones.
Extremely Complicated Laws
Medicaid eligibility laws are extremely complicated requiring careful and timely planning.
Seemingly logical financial transactions in the "real world" can trigger harsh monetary penalties in a Medicaid context, potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars.
It should be noted as well that Medicaid can also be obtained to help individuals stay in one's own home through the Passport Program. Plus, a number of Assisted Living facilities in Greater Cincinnati accept Medicaid through the Assisted Living Waiver Program. Space in these facilities, however, is often limited.
You should consult an elder law attorney if it is possible that you or a loved one will require Medicaid to pay for long term care.
Frequently Asked Questions
Set up a consultation today.
Whether you're planning for your parents, your spouse, or even yourself, The Law Practice of Dennison Keller, LLC will meet you at the crossroads of legal and care advocacy to show you one clear path out of the maze and get you on the road toward your own peace of mind.