Protecting Assets from Nursing Home Cost
Many of us will one day need long-term nursing home care. Whether that time is now or someday in the future, the cost of a long-term facility can be exorbitant. The anxiety caused by this overwhelming expense is often compounded by the belief that residents who cannot afford the costs associated with facility care are forced to “sign over” their house.
The truth is that a nursing home cannot take a resident’s house. However, homeowners and their families may come to a point where they feel that the only option is to sell the home to keep up with costs of long-term care.
According to the New York State Department of Health, the average cost of nursing home care in New York ranges from over $116,000 to more than my $156,000 per year. To make matters worse, families are often unprepared to handle this expense.
However, planning ahead can help the elderly and their families avoid depleting all their assets in order to get themselves or their loved ones the care they need.
Medicare vs Medicaid
Many people mistakenly believe that Medicare will cover the costs of a nursing home stay. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover long-term care, but Medicaid, a federal insurance program for lower income individuals, does.
However, not everyone is eligible for Medicaid, and assets like an expensive home or excess income may be enough to disqualify an individual.
Although it cannot be overstated that hiding assets from the government is a criminal offense, families that engage in Medicaid planning can legally increase their chances of being accepted into the Medicaid program. Consulting with a Brooklyn elder law attorney can educate families on making the appropriate decisions now to prepare for the future.
For example, elder law attorneys can assist clients with:
- Placing assets into a trust to avoid nursing home spend down.
- Learning about and investing in exempt assets, such as household items, a family vehicle, and income producing property.
- Using excess income for necessary home repairs and updates, including at-home medical equipment.
Long Term Care Insurance
For those that cannot qualify for Medicaid, long-term care insurance is available and is designed to cover long-term services. This includes personal care in the home or at a long-term care facility.
Long-term care insurance policies reimburse the policy holder with a daily amount for the services needed to assist them with daily living.
However, there are some things to consider before jumping in too soon:
- Those already in poor health or already in a facility may not qualify.
- Long-term care policies often have limits on how much they will pay, and how long the payments will continue.
- Policy premium rates could increase over time.
Brooklyn Elder Law Attorneys at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP Assist Clients with Medicaid Planning
If you need more information on how to protect your assets from nursing home costs or have questions about Medicaid planning, contact a Brooklyn elder law attorney at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP. Our attorneys have expertise in all facets of elder law and can help with estate planning, guardianships, Medicaid applications, and more. Do not leave your financial future unprotected. Contact us today for a free initial consultation at 212-495-8133 or complete our online form.
We proudly serve clients across Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York from our three convenient locations in New York, Brooklyn, and Lakewood, New Jersey.