The prospect of requiring living assistance can be the last thing on your mind when you have been fully capable of handling all of your own day-to-day tasks throughout your life. Undeniably, this is not a subject that most people want to consider. However, you should be aware of the facts when you are devising a plan for aging. In this article, our Florence elder law lawyer will discuss some of the most important issues relating to nursing home issues and how to plan for the future.
How Likely is it That I Will Need Nursing Home Care?
The reality is that most seniors will ultimately need long-term care of some type in the future. In some cases, they will require residential nursing home care. According to government reports, almost seven out of every 10 seniors will someday require living assistance. This is a very unsettling statistic. The reality is that most people will need help with their activities of daily living at some point in time.
Be Careful Not to Overestimate Potential Medicare Coverage for Nursing Home Care
These statistics may get your attention, but you may not be concerned because you know that you will be qualified for Medicare coverage when you reach senior citizen status. Medicare will certainly provide a foundational source of health insurance, but unfortunately, Medicare does not pay for nursing home care. The program is set up to pay for convalescent care after an injury or illness, but it does not pay for custodial care.
Medicaid May Provide Benefits to Pay the Cost of Nursing Home Care
One widely embraced solution is Medicaid. This government health insurance program does pay for long-term care, and most seniors in nursing homes are relying on Medicaid to pick up the tab. However, qualifying can be difficult because the program is only available to people that can demonstrate significant financial need. To qualify at the ideal time, you must plan ahead in a careful and informed manner. If you would like to discuss Medicaid planning strategies, our Florence elder law lawyer can help.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
While most seniors in nursing homes rely on Medicaid, unfortunately, you do not automatically qualify for Medicaid if you need long-term care. This is a need-based program, so there is a limit on countable assets. For an individual, this limit is $2000 at the present time. There are some assets that would not be counted by Medicaid evaluators. If you take the right steps in advance, with the assistance of our Florence elder law lawyer, you may be able to qualify for Medicaid without losing everything in the process.
Nursing Home Agreements
Did you know that the annual cost of a nursing home in Kentucky is well over $80,000? While the care of your loved one is certainly first and foremost, let’s take a moment to address another of the aspects involved – that of the nursing home agreement.
The number of pages of a nursing home admission agreement often goes into double-digits, and responsible family members are often facing challenges involving the care of their loved one. This can result in a legal nightmare when the family is unpleasantly surprised later when they find out just what they agreed to. Things to keep an eye out for:
- Restrictive visiting hours for family members,
- Liberal guidelines regarding the eviction or transfer of the resident, and
- A requirement that a family member accepts financial responsibility for the resident.
Our Florence elder law lawyer is well-versed in nursing home law and can help you review a nursing home agreement and advise you on its true meaning and intent, not to mention the legality of the terms of the agreement.
If you have questions regarding nursing homes or any other elder law matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at The Potter Law Firm for a consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (859) 372-6655 (Florence, KY) or at (606) 324-5516 (Ashland, KY) or for individuals in North Carolina at (704) 944-3245 (Charlotte, NC or Huntersville, NC).
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