Generally speaking, this is the area of legal specialization that is focused on the needs of senior citizens and those that are planning ahead to address the eventualities of aging. Most people understand the importance of retirement planning. However, many of the same individuals do not look past the golden years to address the twilight years that will inevitably follow.
The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Long-term care is quite expensive, and most people would find it very difficult to pay out-of-pocket. Elder law attorneys assist clients that want to meet this fact of life head on.
Since Medicare is a government health insurance program that exists in large part to satisfy the needs of seniors, you would think so, but this is not the case.
The program will pay for convalescent care after an injury or illness when recovery is anticipated. It will not cover the custodial care that you would receive in a nursing home.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the figure is 35%. This phenomenon is fueled in large part by the ubiquity of Alzheimer’s disease. It strikes about 40% of people that are 85 years of age and older and 10% of all senior citizens.
The average time that is spent by a senior in a nursing home is right around one year. It is important to note that a married couple may absorb two different rounds of nursing home expenses.
For most people, the solution is Medi-Cal eligibility. This program will pay for long-term care if you can qualify.
Since the program is intended for people with very limited monetary capabilities, there is a low asset limit of just $2000. However, some of the things that you own are not considered to be countable assets for Medi-Cal eligibility purposes.
Your home is exempt, and in California at the time of this writing, there is no equity limit. Wedding rings, engagement rings, and heirloom jewelry are not counted, along with one motor vehicle. Household belongings and personal effects are excluded as well.
Term life insurance, which is coverage without a cash value, is allowed, along with up to $1500 of whole life insurance and the same amount set aside for final expenses.
Yes, and this is the key to Medi-Cal planning. That’s the good news, but the challenging part is the fact that you have to devise a plan in light of the 30 month look-back period.
You have to complete all gift giving at least 30 months before you submit your application. If you violate this rule, your eligibility will be delayed, and you will have to pay out-of-pocket during this interim.
We Are Here to Help!
Now is the time for action if you have concerns about long-term care costs or any other elder law issue. You can send us a message to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone at 301-337-7696.