Medicaid and Elder Law services are more important than ever to our aging population. We can help you understand the options available to you based on your unique situation. Our caring staff can listen to your needs and craft an estate plan that protects your family and future.
Most seniors qualify for Medicare coverage, and it goes a long way, but there are out-of-pocket costs. When you are putting together a budget for your golden years, you should prepare to pay Medicare premiums, copayments, deductibles.
These are manageable for most seniors that plan aheadeffectively, but there is one huge gap that can wipe out the inheritances thatyou would like to leave to your loved ones.
Nursing Home Costs
About 70 percent of senior citizens will need helpwith their day-to-day needs at some point in time, and 35 percent of elderswill live in nursing homes. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, and thisis the major gap we are highlighting.
Here in Manhattan, you can expect to pay about$180,000 for a year in a nursing home. Costs have been going up year afteryear, so if you need care in a couple of decades, the number may be a lothigher.
The average length of stay is one year, and if you aremarried, your family may face two different sets of nursing home bills. That’sa lot of money to come up with late in your life.
Medicaid and Elder Law Services: Eligibility
The solution for most people is Medicaid coverage.This government health insurance program does pay for living assistance if youcan qualify.
Since it was designed to provide health insurance forpeople with financial need, there is a low asset limit. To qualify for Medicaidto pay for long-term care, you could give gifts to your loved ones while youare living.
This is called a Medicaid “spend down,” but you haveto plan ahead carefully to do this the right way, because there is a five-yearlook back period. You have to complete all gift giving at least five yearsbefore you apply for Medicaid coverage.
It would still be possible to qualify, but there would be a penalty period. For example, if you gave away enough to pay for a year of nursing home care, you would be ineligible for one year. Use our Medicaid Calculator to determine if you will be eligible for benefits to help pay for long-term care benefits as you age.
Income-Only Medicaid Trust
You could give direct gifts to your loved ones withthe five-year look back period in mind, but there is another option that isbetter for some people. An income-only Medicaid trust can be used to get assetsout of your own name so you can qualify for coverage if you need it.
The principal would not be available, but you would beable to receive income that is generated by assets in the trust. If you doqualify for Medicaid at some point, most of the income would go toward the costof the care that you are receiving.
There is one exception to the rule when it comes tothe Medicaid look back period. If one of your adult children has been caringfor you in your home for at least two years, you can give the property to yourchild. In these situations, there would be no penalty, and Medicaid could notgo after the home after your passing.
Long-term care is the most pressing elder lawsituation that we handle on a day-to-day basis, but there are some others. Oneof them is elder abuse, and it can be physical, emotional, or financial. Thereare things that you can do to protect yourself, and we can explain them whenyou connect with our firm.
Medicaid and Elder Law Services
There are some very useful resources that you can tapinto if you are interested in these elder law issues. One of them is the NewYork City Health Insurance Link that is provided by the Office of CitywideHealth Insurance Access.
This page provides instant access to numerous different providers of health insurance resources for Manhattan seniors. You can click this link to get there: NYC Senior Health Insurance Portal.
Many families are touched by Alzheimer’s, a horrible disease that strikes about one third of the oldest elderly. You can obtain information about the disease and access to resources if you visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.
Get in Touch Today!
We know that this is a very tough subject, and thereis nothing good to say about it. At the same time, it’s a fact of life, and itis best to do what you can to get ahead of it.
If you are ready to talk about a plan for aging, we are here to help. You can call us at 212-973-0100 to set up a consultation, and there is a contact form on this site that you can use to send us a message.