Paying for Long-Term Care

Assisted living and nursing homes can be scary thoughts for many of us as we enter our later years of life. Thinking about the possibility that we may find ourselves or our loved ones in need of moving to one of these care facilities can be difficult to bear. However, the reality is that the longer we live, the greater our chances are of needing long-term care outside of the home.

Paying for long-term care can be costly; an average nursing home can cost approximately $7,000 per month, and the fact is most of us would prefer to remain in the comforts our home until we die. These are real concerns that can discourage the case for care facilities, but there are several advantages that assisted living, skilled care, and personal care homes can provide. Long-term care facilities benefit residents with safety, regular monitoring, scheduled nourishment, and medical attention. Families may find that some of these services aren’t as easily duplicated at home. So how do families pay for this increased care cost for their loved ones? Several options are available:

Long-Term Care Insurance is a pricier option, but comes with very good coverage for both in-home, assisted living, and nursing home care expenses. Like most insurance plans, the younger you are the less cost per year. Someone in their 60’s with good health can expect to pay on average $3,000 per year. Many variables such as daily benefit amount, deductible, inflation riders, and life insurance features will affect the cost. This option requires the available income to support the premium and must be in place before a negative medical diagnosis.

Private Pay requires using your assets and the income generated by those resources to pay for your care. Individuals fortunate enough to have assets that could be liquidated to pay for long-term care, are able to avoid the added yearly cost of purchasing long-term care insurance.

Government Benefits are also available to those who do not have long-term care insurance or adequate assets to fund their care. Veteran’s Administration (VA) or Medicaid benefits additionally may also be an option. VA Aid and Attendance Pension are available for veterans and the spouses of veterans to provide for unreimbursed medical expenses. Medicaid is available to pay for nursing home expenses that exceed the resident’s income. In both cases, there are asset limits; the VA and Medicaid planning opportunities consist of transferring or spending down assets to qualify sooner. Due to the gifting penalties in place for Medicaid planning (and proposed for VA benefits), crisis planning does not include gifting. However, gifting is a viable option for pre-planning.

Bryson Law Firm, P.C., assists elder law clients with the evaluation of long-term care options, and develops a customized plan to ensure the best care based on available assets.

Bryson Law Firm: Suwanee, Georgia. Attorney Richard Bryson has over 15 years experience with investment entities, elder law, estate planning, probate, wills and trusts, tax planning, tax dispute resolution, asset protection, personal injury, business formation, real estate transactions, and Medicaid and VA planning. Contact our Gwinnett County law firm at 404-909-8842.