There are some things that you should know about elder care when you are devising a budget for your senior years. Many people are under the impression that health care expenses won’t be much of a concern, because Medicare will pick up most of the costs that are incurred. In fact, this is an incomplete perspective.
First off, there are relatively significant out-of-pocket costs that you must handle yourself for things that are covered. There are co-payments, deductibles, and monthly premiums. You should certainly educate yourself about these out-of-pocket expenses when you are looking ahead toward your retirement years. If you visit the Medicare website, you can gain an understanding of these potential expenses.
When you look into the subject, you will find that most senior citizens will someday need long-term care. Since Medicare is designed to help elders with health care costs that they will invariably incur, it would be logical to assume that the program is set up to pay for living assistance, since most seniors will need it.
Whether it makes sense or not, the hard truth is that Medicare does not pay for long-term care, and it is extremely expensive. We practice law in North Dakota, and in our area, the median annual charge for a private room in a nursing home is almost $105,000 according to a Genworth Financial survey.
So, to summarize, here are the three components that comprise the imperfect storm when it comes to elder care: Most seniors will need living assistance eventually, Medicare will not pay for it, and the costs are exorbitant.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
What can you do to react to this imperfect storm? For many, the nursing home asset protection solution is Medicaid. This government program does pay for long-term care, and most elders in nursing homes are Medicaid eligible.
Medicaid is only available to financially needy individuals, so people with resources who want to qualify often give gifts to their loved ones. This process is typically referred to as a Medicaid spend down.
The government does not want people to manipulate the system by giving gifts immediately after they find out that they need long-term care. To prevent this type of thing, there is a five-year look-back. Your eligibility is denied for a particular length of time if you give gifts within five years of the submission of your application for Medicaid coverage.
Because of this look-back, it takes advance planning to qualify at the ideal time. If you would like to discuss the details with a licensed professional, our firm can help. To set up a consultation, send us a message through the following link, and we will get back in touch with you promptly: Grand Forks ND Elder Law Attorneys.