You may have seen a couple of our blogs recently where we suggest nursing home pre-planning. You might be wondering, what exactly is nursing home pre-planning and when do I need to start thinking about doing it?
When pre-planning for nursing home care, you are preparing your assets for eventual Medicaid qualification. Medicaid qualification means that the government helps pay for your nursing home care and can significantly reduce the $5,000+ a month nursing home costs you are likely to incur.
Ideally, Nursing Home pre-planning generally happens about 5 years or more before you think you or your loved one will need long-term care. That means that if you are under 60, this probably isn’t the right solution for you yet, and you should seriously consider getting long-term care insurance. And even if you are over 60, long-term care insurance may still be a great option.
Why do Nursing Home Pre-Planning? The short answer is that most people do not have enough money saved up for long-term care costs, and Medicare does not cover nursing home costs beyond a short-term stay, and then only in some circumstances. But, people are not likely to qualify for Medicaid with their assets as-is because their assets are just too high. Therein lies the dilemma—people have too much money for government assistance yet not enough money to afford quality nursing home care. That’s where nursing home pre-planning comes in.
The government allows for certain legal strategies to re-categorize assets so that an individual can qualify for Medicaid. These strategies, which require a lawyer’s assistance, make it so that you don’t have to lose your assets in attempting to pay for long-term care. The burden of paying for care can be relieved.
This strategy is essentially the same for qualifying for Medicaid when you need it instantaneously, but the benefit of pre-planning (which usually involves putting assets in a trust), is that you can avoid Medicaid penalty periods which delay getting assistance for care. If you pre-plan early enough, you usually can get Medicaid assistance sooner in the process.
If you would like to talk about Nursing Home Pre-Planning for you or a loved one, or need more immediate help qualifying for Medicaid now, call our office at 214-292-4225 to set up an appointment.