Preparing for the Cost of Long-Term Care
As you plan for your senior years, you will need to devise a budget and allocate funds appropriately for your elder care. If you are planning to rely on Medicare to cover most of your health care expenses, there are some things you should know. Read on to learn more about elder care financial planning.
There are some significant costs that you must pay yourself even though your health care expenses may be covered. For example, co-payments, monthly premiums and deductibles will be your out-of-pocket medical expenses even after you have retired. Be sure to educate yourself about these expenses now so that you can gain a complete understanding about potential costs.
Most of us will require long-term care someday so it is a good idea to plan ahead to ensure you are prepared for the associated costs. Many people assume that since Medicare is set up to help seniors with health care costs, that it will also cover long-term care living expenses because, like health care, most seniors will inevitably need it. Unfortunately that is not the case; Medicare does not cover long-term care and it is expensive. The annual cost of a nursing home or other long-term care facility can exceed $100,000 per year.
The good news is that Medicaid is a government program that does provide assistance for long-term care for those who are eligible. Most seniors who are living in nursing homes are eligible for Medicaid but it is only available to individuals who are in need of financial assistance. Seniors with financial resources who would like to receive Medicaid will often give gifts to their loved ones in order to qualify. This process is known as a Medicaid “spend down”.
However, to prevent people from manipulating the system by giving gifts immediately after they learn that they need long-term care, the government enforces a 5 year “look back” period. The look back period will deny eligibility of those who give gifts within five years of an application for Medicaid coverage.
Due to the look back period, advance planning is necessary if you want to qualify for Medicaid when you need it. Speaking with a trusted Medicaid attorney in Pittsburgh will help you to maximize your eligibility for benefits.
Fingeret Law can help you prepare for the cost of long-term care. To discuss your specific needs and to find out how our insurance law firm and Medicaid attorneys can help you, please call us at Fingeret Law at 412-254-8533 or contact us online.