If you are planning ahead for your retirement years and the twilight years that will follow, it may be hard to imagine a time when you will need living assistance. This is understandable, but when you look at lifespans, if you are fortunate enough to live until you are 67, your life expectancy is at least 85 years.
At that age, things can be considerably different than they were when you first started to receive Social Security benefits.
In fact, the United States Census Bureau has done some research that sheds a lot of light on the matter of aging in our country. Censuses are conducted every 10 years, and the information that is compiled is utilized to measure various different demographic trends.
According to this agency, the age group that was between 85 and 94 years old grew faster than any other segment of the population during the last census period. These individuals are referred to as “the oldest old” in geriatric circles.
Once you are an octogenarian, health challenges can make it hard to get around, and there can be cognitive difficulties as well. When it comes to the latter, Alzheimer’s disease is the primary culprit.
The Alzheimer’s Association website is a veritable treasure trove of information about this disease, and you should check it out if you are interested in educating yourself.
According to this highly respected entity, approximately 40 percent of people that are defined as the oldest old have contracted Alzheimer’s. If you include all Americans that are 65 years of age and older, the figure is a rather eye-catching 13 percent.
Clearly, a significant percentage of people with Alzheimer’s will eventually need around-the-clock living assistance in residential settings.
Nursing Home Care
If you pay into the program sufficiently throughout your working career, under currently existing laws, you will qualify for Medicare coverage when you reach the age of 65. There are out-of-pocket costs including copayments, deductibles, and premiums, but under most circumstances, they are manageable.
It would be logical to assume that the Medicare program would pay for long-term care for elders, since it exists to address the medical needs of older Americans. Though it may not make sense to a lot of people, Medicare will not pay for a stay in a nursing home.
Genworth Financial is a company that sells financial products for seniors, and they keep track of the state of long-term care costs in the United States. They produce national figures, and they also drill down state-by-state and city-by-city.
We serve the Rochester, New York area. Genworth has found that the median monthly cost for a private room in a nursing home here was $13,292 in 2019. This factors out to just under $160,000 annually. Relatively speaking, you would not be saving very much if you sacrifice some privacy and settle for a semi-private room, because the annual cost last year was $149,650.
Medicaid is a jointly run federal/state government program that provides health insurance for people with very limited financial resources. It will pay for long-term care if you can obtain eligibility, but there is a $15,750 limit on assets in New York.
Your first thought maybe that you could never qualify because you have resources that exceed this amount, but but with proper advance planning you can preserve those excess resources and still qualify for Medicaid. This planning is very complex and should only be handled by an attorney who is an expert in Medicaid eligibility planning. Failure to plan correctly can result in losing Medicaid eligibility entirely, causing you to spend everything you have worked for your whole life.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
We are here to help if you would like to discuss Medicaid planning with an experienced, expert elder law attorney. You can set up a consultation if you call us at 585-374-5210, and you also have the option of sending us a message through the contact page on this website.