This is simply the way of things, but eventually, the level of care that is needed may be beyond your capabilities. We are going to provide some insight here to help you understand some very important facts about long-term care and the costs that go along with it.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services maintains a very useful website called LongTermCare.gov. There are various facts and figures published on the site, and it is a great resource if you want to do some poking around on your own.
According to research that they cite, 7 out of every 10 people that are turning 65 on any given day will eventually require living assistance. Just over one third of elders will reside in nursing homes per se.
There are many underlying reasons why someone may require nursing home care, and Alzheimer’s disease is at or near the top of list. It strikes about 10 percent of all seniors, and 32 percent of folks that are 85 years of age and older are Alzheimer’s sufferers according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Medicare Gap and Living Assistance Costs
Clearly, most senior citizens will qualify for Medicare when they reach the age of 65. Unfortunately, this program will not pay for a stay in a nursing home or assisted living community, and it does not cover in-home care.
These facilities and in-home services come with some hefty price tags. Genworth Financial is a go-to resource for long-term care cost information, and they drill down to look at the cost of care in each metropolitan area.
In and around Rochester, the median cost for a month in a private room in a nursing home was $13,292 in 2019, and the figure was $12,471 for a semi-private room. The median charge for a one bedroom unit in an assisted living facility was $4748 a month.
A lot of elders that require long-term care would prefer to stay in their own homes it is at all possible. This arrangement can be more comfortable, but it does not save anyone any money. Last year, the median monthly charge for a home health aide was $5386.
Medicaid and the Home and Community Based Services Waiver
Now that you understand the challenge, we can look at the solution. Medicaid will pay for a stay in a nursing home, and the Home and Community Based Services Waiver program will cover in-home care.
That’s the good news, but the bad news is that it is challenging to qualify because Medicaid is a need-based program. The asset limit is $15,750, so qualifying for Medicaid will involve lifetime gift giving.
On the surface, this can sound like a simple matter. Your parent or parents could give gifts to family members if and when they find out that they require long-term care.
Gift giving is a common course of action, but there is a five-year look back period, so the divestitures must be completed at least five years before the application for Medicaid coverage is submitted.
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This has been a very general explanation, but we can get more specific when you come in to discuss a nursing home asset protection strategy with our attorney. You can send us a message to request an appointment, and we can be reached by phone at 585-374-5210.