More than 70% of seniors will need some type of long-term care, and these costs, such as nursing home stays and home health aides, are not covered by Medicare. The average stay in a nursing home typically lasts about three years, so even the most financially prepared person will be challenged by $9,000 to12,000 per month (in Northern Virginia) for expenses such as these.
Thankfully, a number of solutions are available.
- Life Care Planning and Medicaid Asset Protection is the process of protecting assets from having to be spent down in connection with entry into a nursing home, while also helping ensure that you or your loved one get the best possible care and maintain the highest possible quality of life, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. If you are still healthy and not yet on the "long-term care continuum," then instead of Life Care Planning and Medicaid Asset Protection Planning you should consider our Living Trust PlusTM Asset Protection Trust, which is a simpler and less expensive method of asset protection for clients who will most likely not need any long-term care for at least five years.
- Long-term care insurance covers care that is generally notcovered by health insurance or Medicare. It will typically pay a portion of nursing home expenses for a set benefit period of time. One of the downsides to long-term care insurance is that the top-rated companies have been known to raise their premiums over the years.
- A reverse mortgage enables a homeowner (at least 62 years of age) to draw income from the equity in their home while continuing to live there. A reverse mortgage is a good option to create extra income. Note that keeping money in a reverse mortgage line of credit in Virginia, and in most other states, will not count as a resource for Medicaid eligibility purposes so long as the house itself is an exempt resource.
- Individuals over the age of 70 with life insurance can sell their policies for immediate cash, which can be used to either buy a long-term care insurance policy or to fund the care itself.The downside to a life settlement is that the policyholder's beneficiaries will not be paid a death benefit when the policyholder dies.
In general, anyone past the age of 45 should develop a plan to pay for long-term care. Interested in learning more? Attend the Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C.’s “Become More Aware about Long Term Care Insurance” Educational Awareness Event on March 5 from 6-7:30 p.m. Call us at 703-691-1888 to RSVP or click here.
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