Why Long-Term Care Planning Matters

Medicare will cover my nursing home expenses.

Medicare will pay some costs associated with a patient’s first 100 days in a nursing home following a hospitalization of three or more days.  However, Medicare does not cover long-term care in a nursing home.  Families often rely on long-term care insurance or pay privately for nursing home care before they can qualify for Medicaid. 

I have to spend all my assets to be eligible for Medicaid.

Families may choose to spend all their assets on care.  Elder law attorneys determine the best approach for each family by considering the needs of any at-home spouse, the amount of time available to plan, the family’s goals, and the types of assets. By using tools like trusts and annuities, families can preserve assets and still qualify for Medicaid.
 

I NEED TO GIVE MY HOUSE TO MY CHILDREN TO PROTECT IT.

Transferring a house to children could create unintended tax consequences for the children. More importantly, the transfer and the timing of the transfer could be viewed by Medicaid as a gift, creating a Medicaid penalty on the amount gifted. Often, the better solution is to transfer the home into a trust or explore the possibility of selling an interest in the house to a child.

MY SPOUSE NEEDS NURSING HOME CARE, MEDICAID ONLY NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THEIR ASSETS.

Medicaid will evaluate all assets of a married couple, even it those assets is individually owned by the spouse, and there is a valid prenuptial agreement.

When will you have the conversation with your family about your caregiving and exit strategy?

 

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