Each year, nursing home care is a necessary step for tens of thousands of Texans. Yet, for many people, the cost of nursing facilities can be out of reach. According to Genworth Financial, Inc., the average monthly cost for nursing home care in Texas is $4,798 for people who live with a roommate, and $6,540 for people who live in private rooms.
You don't want to be a burden on your kids, nor do you want to have choices for care facilities limited because of expense. Therefore, it's critical to plan ahead for possible nursing home admittance.
How to Pay for Nursing Home Care in Texas
Understanding the many options for payment helps demystify the process. An experienced Texas elder law attorney will provide information on all the potential funding sources and the impact on your wealth and your family. For example, you may pay for nursing home care with:
- Your own private funds. You always have the right to pay for nursing home care with money from your bank accounts, investment accounts, or with other assets. However, few people want to pay thousands of dollars a month to a nursing home instead of to their children, other loved ones, or even favorite charities.
- Long term care insurance. While health insurance plans typically don't include nursing home care coverage, long term care insurance policies provide insurance coverage for nursing home stays. There are pros and cons to long term care insurance. For example, it can be expensive. It's important to read the fine print and consider all other payment options before purchasing a long term care insurance policy.
- Medicare. Medicare may pay for some of the medical treatment you receive in a nursing home, but it typically doesn’t cover room and board.
- Medicaid. Medicaid may be an option if you have low income and limited assets at the time you first enter a Texas nursing home. Regulations in 2018 indicated an unmarried person in need of care could only have assets of $2,000 or less, and a monthly income of $2,250 or less. If married, a spouse may keep a substantial amount of your assets and monthly income. However, if single, you must typically use your assets and income to pay for nursing home care until you're eligible for Medicaid. You may not give away your assets or sell them for less than fair market value in the years prior to needing nursing home care. This includes gifting assets to your children, although there are limited exceptions.
If you're concerned about the potential impact of these choices on your family, then it's especially important to plan ahead. An experienced estate planning lawyer can provide you with education and insight well before you need nursing home care.
Create a Plan for Future Nursing Home Care
There are ways to plan for future nursing home care without using all of your assets. For example, you could create an irrevocable trust for your home or other assets. This transfers ownership of any assets you put into it but allows you to remain the trust beneficiary. Thus, if an irrevocable trust protects your house, someone else may own your home, but you may continue to live there according to the terms set out in the trust documents. The value of your house, and any other trust assets, won't be considered as countable assets in your ability to pay for nursing home care.
You have a lot at stake, and you want to make the right decisions for yourself and your family. Contact the Miller Law Office today to schedule an initial consultation so you have the information to protect yourself and your loved ones from the high costs of future nursing home care.