Poverty Is Not a Prerequisite
Long-Term Care Planning
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities can be very expensive but there are ways to make your client's long-term care dollars stretch.There are three primary methods of paying for nursing homes or assisted living facilities:
- Private-paying with your own dollars, and with your children's dollars;
- Using insurance that covers some or all of the cost of long-term care and
- Need-Based Government Benefits, i.e. VA Benefits and the Medicaid program.
Private-paying for care often means total indigence. The cost of nursing homes often ranges from about $4,000 to $12,000 per month. Assisted living facilities are about half the cost of nursing homes but still too much for many to pay without outliving their savings. Many people spend all of their savings in nursing homes and then have nothing left. Not a very good option!
Long-term care insurance works for some but most people considering nursing home care do not have long-term care insurance and either cannot qualify for the policies or cannot afford the premiums. Long-term care insurance is therefore often not an option.
Need Based Government Benefits – This leaves Veteran’s Benefits and the Medicaid program. Medicaid may pay for almost all nursing homes including the finest of facilities (you sometimes need to know the tricks to getting in!) and Medicaid increasingly covers assisted living facilities as well. But in order to qualify for Medicaid, applicants must be below $2,000 in savings and below $2,163 in income (2014 figures).
What Elder Law Attorneys Do:
- Elder Law Attorneys can help people to ethically and legally convert “countable savings” to “non-countable” savings so that Elder Law clients can keep their savings and still qualify for Medicaid.
This is done not out of greed but of necessity so that the Elder Law client is not left indigent at the cost of long-term care.
In the words of one court,
“No agency of the government has any right to complain about the fact that middle-class people confronted with desperate circumstances choose [to do Medicaid asset protection planning] when it is the government itself which has established the rule that poverty is a prerequisite to the receipt of government assistance in the defraying of the costs of ruinously expensive, but absolutely essential medical treatment.”
By offering services in the area of Elder Law, I found a way that I can be the change. And, I will guide you and your family through the process as well as that for many other areas of Elder Law.
This is one area of law that makes a tremendous difference in people’s lives, and I'm proud to offer it.