You may think that it is unlikely that you will ever require nursing home care, but the statistics tell a different tale.
Aging and Long-Term Care
The United States Department of Health and Human Services maintains a very informative website called LongTermCare.gov. According to the site, 70 percent of seniors will someday need help with their activities of daily living. They go on to state that 35 percent of these people will reside in nursing homes.
There are many underlying causes, but Alzheimer’s disease is a leading culprit. You may be surprised to hear that it strikes about one third of people that are 85 and older. If you live long enough to collect Social Security, your life expectancy is at least 85 years depending on your gender.
The United States Census Bureau tells us that the segment of the population that was between 85 and 94 years of age grew faster than any other between the last two censuses.
Medicare Won’t Help
Since Medicare is designed to meet the health care insurance needs of senior citizens, and most seniors will need living assistance, you would expect Medicare to cover it. Many people would say that it makes absolutely no sense, but in fact, Medicare does not pay for the custodial care that nursing homes provide.
Sky High Costs
It is not easy to pay for long-term care out of your own pocket. We have offices in Albany, New York and Essex Junction, Vermont. Genworth Financial conducts in-depth research into the state of long-term care costs around the country.
They have found that the median annual cost for a private room in a nursing home in the Albany area was $147,825 in 2019. In Essex Junction, the number was $148,920. The average length of stay is one year, and married couples may face two different sets of nursing home bills.
The majority of individuals that understand all of the above aim toward future Medicaid eligibility. This is a jointly administered federal/state government health insurance for people with very limited financial resources. It does pay for long-term care.
You can give assets away to qualify, but you have to complete the gift giving at least five years before you submit your application. If you violate this rule, your eligibility is delayed for a period of time that is based on the amount that you gave away.
CARES Act Provision
Because there are income and asset limits that govern Medicaid eligibility, any overages are typically absorbed by the nursing home. Under the terms of the CARES Act, the stimulus checks and direct deposits that most Americans received are technically tax credits. They do not count as income or a financial resource that could impact Medicaid eligibility.
There have been some nursing homes that have in fact intercepted checks that were intended for their residents. If this has happened to someone that you know, you should certainly pressure the nursing home to make things right, because the law is on your side.
Attend a Webinar
We have always reached out to members of our community through our free seminars, but the coronavirus has put an end to the sessions for the time being. However, all is not lost, because technology is on our side.
Our attorneys are now holding webinars, and we urge you to attend one of these sessions to build on your knowledge. You can visit our webinar page to see the dates and obtain registration information.
Schedule a Remote Consultation!
There has never been a better time to put an estate plan in place if you are currently unprepared. We can also help you revise your existing plan if your life situation has changed since the initial plan was created.
Once again, we have adapted to keep everyone safe. We are offering remote consultations through video and telephone conferencing, so it is actually easier to get the legal assistance that you need.
You can schedule an appointment with an attorney from our Albany, New York office if you give us a call at 518-389-6020. The number in Vermont is 802-879-7133, and there is a contact form on this site that you can use to send us a message.