The high cost of long-term care has made planning a critically important issue for most middle class seniors and their families. In fact, most seniors will likely require some form of long-term care. Sadly, many of them are unprepared for the significant financial burdens it places on their family’s hard earned savings. While there are significant federal and state benefit programs which were designed to assist the elderly, far too many people fail to understand how these programs function and what is required for eligibility. We work closely with our clients to ensure they have an understanding of the many legal options to protect assets and qualify for benefits that will help pay for long-term care.
Those who have planned ahead by purchasing long-term care insurance have a degree of certainty and peace of mind, knowing that they have a lesser need to rely on other sources in the future. Unfortunately, many can’t afford the high cost of long term care insurance or worse, because of age or medical conditions, cannot qualify for long term care insurance. If you do have long-term care insurance, you should be aware of what your policy covers. Many policies have high deductibles or provide for only a short period of care in a medical facility. In fact, many who have long-term care insurance still have to resort to Medicaid to pay for their care.
The other option to pay for care is Medicaid. A joint federal-state program, Medicaid provides medical assistance to low-income individuals, including those who are 65 or older, disabled or blind. Medicaid is the single largest payer of nursing home bills in America and we can help you qualify.
If you or a spouse served in the military during a designated wartime period, you may be eligible for a benefit from the VA to help cover the cost of long term care. This benefit, commonly referred to as Aid & Attendance, offers a benefit to seniors who need additional care at home, a residential facility (assisted living facility) or a nursing home. Like Medicaid, VA Aid & Attendance is only available to veterans who meet certain income and asset requirements. If you are a veteran, Ross Estate Planning, LLC thanks you for your service and we encourage you to check out other resources that may be available to you.
Far too often, seniors wait until they fall ill and require care to seek the assistance of an attorney. Unfortunately, in waiting for a crisis, seniors and their caregivers often encounter more hurdles for qualification and exorbitant levels of stress during an already difficult time. Our attorneys routinely assist clients with pre-Medicaid planning, developing a long-term plan which seeks to protect assets through traditional estate planning functions (asset protection tools such as trusts, life estates and annuities) while coordinating private insurance, veterans benefits and other resources which may be available to pay for future care, without draining all of the family’s assets.
Even if you haven’t taken time to plan for Medicaid eligibility, there are a number of tools at your disposal to obtain eligibility. Our firm routinely assists clients who are just starting the process and need to qualify immediately. In these situations, we work directly with seniors, caregivers, social workers, care facilities and healthcare providers to identify the best environment for your ongoing care. We work with you to complete the Medicaid application and when necessary, “spend down to qualify” in a meaningful way which won’t waste your hard earned assets but instead benefit your loved ones for years to come.
Our law firm has the experience and knowledge to help you avoid the financial ruin associated with the high cost of long-term care. Contact us today to learn more about the issues surrounding Medicaid eligibility and to begin the planning and application process.