May 28, 2019
by: Erica Berger-Hausthor, Esq.
Worried about the costs of Long Term Care? Trying to plan now for the future? Caring for a loved one and need some help? As medicine advances and people continue to live longer, most people will need help at some point in their lives. With the costs of Skilled Nursing facilities in Central Florida at an average of $8500-$10,000 per month and care at home starting at an average of $15 per hour, it is necessary to understand the many options for covering the costs of care. Here are a few:
Plan Ahead and Create An Irrevocable Trust. Medicaid has benefits that will cover some of the costs of Long Term Care. While they do have financial requirements, not all assets count toward this requirement. Correctly written Asset Protection Trusts protect assets from counting toward the $2000 asset limit required by Medicaid but require you to plan in advance. It is best to create these trusts at least 5 years before you think you will need assistance with care since Medicaid could consider the transferring of assets into this trust as a “gift” that may result in a penalty.
Protect Assets When You Need the Help. Remember, Medicaid has benefits that can be a big help with the costs of care, and not all assets count toward this limit. If you don’t plan in advance, you can still plan at the time you need care. There are multiple ways to protect your assets that depend on your needs, type of assets, and marital status. Planning at this time may cause some additional tax liability, or have other drawbacks, but it is worth it since you will be able to utilize Medicaid benefits and still have access to assets through the support of your loved ones. Protecting these assets can substantially enhance your quality of life.
Long Term Care Insurance. There are many types of Long Term Care Policies that provide various forms of coverage for Long Term Care Needs. These policies can provide flexibility with the type of care you receive. There are different types of products such as standalone Long Term Care policies, life insurance policies with long term care coverage, or financial products with Long Term Care coverage. The downside is that the premiums can be substantial and some options that don’t require premiums might require a lump sum of money. If you require Long Term Care for more time than your benefits provide, you can still seek to apply for Medicaid benefits to help pay for those expenses.
If you are interested in learning more about these policies you should contact a Financial or Insurance professional who understands long term care. While our office does not offer Long Term Care Insurance, we are glad to refer you to some trusted professionals.
The costs of Long Term Care are a major concern for most people. Whether you are caring for a loved one or concerned about caring for yourself, you are never too young or too old to start preparing.
Contact an Elder Law Attorney at 407-574-8125 to get started on a plan for yourself or a loved one.