Will Nursing Home Care Cost Me Everything?

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Paying for nursing home care may consume all of your savings.

There are many physical ailments associated with aging.

As we get older, our bodies wear out.

Although some individuals can live independently for a time or have family caretakers, many seniors will require some form of long-term care outside the home setting.

According to a recent WRCB article titled “How to Protect Your Assets from Nursing Homes,” the cost of long-term care is high.

Nursing home care can drain savings.
Medicaid or long-term care insurance can help with financial costs of nursing home care.

This makes paying for nursing home care especially challenging for many.

Planning before you need nursing home care can help you make the best use of your assets.

Many people mistakenly believe Medicare will pay for full-time residence in a skilled nursing home.

Not true.

Long-term care insurance is a good funding option for many people.

A long-term care policy can help pay for home-based care, assisted living, or nursing home expenses without subjecting your assets to forfeiture for Medicaid recovery costs.

These policies are best purchased before your health begins to decline.

If you are in your 50s, you should begin shopping for long-term care insurance.

Gretchen and I purchased our policies when we were age 49.

And that seems like just yesterday.

For some individuals, long-term care insurance may not be a possibility.

If this is true for you, Medicaid may be your best or only option to pay for nursing home care.

This government program can pay for nursing home costs for those with low income and few other assets.

If you have significant assets, you will not be able to receive Medicaid until your savings are depleted.

Any wealth left in your estate will be recouped by the government at your passing.

In some instances, one may be able to gift assets or create an irrevocable trust to protect some assets for their heirs.

There is a five year “look back” period, however.

Taking action to shield assets within five years prior of submitting your Medicaid application may render you ineligible.

If your financial situation warrants Medicaid, you should work with an experienced “elder law attorney” to walk you through your options when it comes to paying for nursing home care.

The rules are complex and subject to change, especially as state and federal budgets bleed red ink.

Do not delay.

Reference: WRCB (Dayton) (Sep. 4, 2020) “How to Protect Your Assets from Nursing Homes”


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