How to Afford Assisted Living When You Need It Most
January 2nd, 2018
Long-term care is expensive, in general, and will only get more expensive in the future. While many people have put aside money for retirement throughout their working lives, those funds may be insufficient to finance a long period of long-term care, whether you choose in-home health care, a skilled nursing facility, or an assisted living facility. Therefore, it is essential that you explore your options for paying for long-term care expenses before an unexpected event occurs and long-term care becomes an absolute necessity.
First, you should understand that Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Medicare provides short-term coverage for nursing home stays following surgery or for shorts periods of rehabilitation, but it does not cover indefinite skilled nursing home care.
The only government program that offers long-term care coverage is Medicaid, which is a federal program administered by the states. However, there are strict asset and income guidelines that you must meet in order to be eligible for Medicaid. There are several exempt assets that you can own while still qualifying for Medicaid, but you typically must have income that falls within the federal poverty guidelines, or you must exhaust all of your personal savings before you qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Perhaps the best to ensure that you can pay for long-term care is to purchase a long-term care insurance policy. There are two main types of policies. An “expenses incurred” policy allows you to choose coverage for a set number of days in a nursing home, paid at a particular rate. This can be a good option if you want to supplement your Social Security or pension income. Another option is the “integrated” policy. This type of plan offers a fixed amount of funds that can be used toward many different kinds of services.
No matter what type of long-term care you are considering, Legacy Law Center is here to help. We advise clients about long-term care planning on a daily basis. Our goal is to determine what long-term care options you have and what you will be able to afford when the time comes so that you can make the decisions that are best for you and your family. No matter how far away long-term care seems, it is important that you take the first step and call our office today to set up a meeting time with one of our Michigan elder law attorneys.