There are those who fall into the trap of believing that Medicare will take care of all their medical needs once they become eligible. The fact is that there are out-of-pocket expenses that recipients must take care of, including deductibles and premiums. These can add up considerably depending on your medical condition. Plus, Medicare does not cover expenses incurred for long-term care, and this is something to take very seriously when you’re making plans for the future.
A 2010 MetLife study found that the cost of a stay in an assisted-living facility in the United States rose by 5.2% to approximately $39,500 annually on average. But the average cost for a year in a private room in a nursing home is stunning compared to this. On average, you would be paying around $83,500 annually, and those who spend time in a nursing home typically do so for approximately two to three years.
When you consider that Medicare does not pick up these expenses, it gets your attention. One option for paying for long-term care is Medicaid, which covers the cost if you have no more than $2000 in countable assets.
This low asset requirement is not an insurmountable obstacle, however, because the healthy spouse can keep his or her half of community assets up to a particular limit, and some valuable possessions don’t count toward this figure. These include your vehicle, some personal belongings, and your home up to $500,000 in equity. And if you are not married, Medicaid planning may allow you to save half or more of your assets for your children.
So Medicaid is a viable solution for many Americans who would have difficulty paying for long-term care without any assistance. The rules however are complex, and it takes long-term planning to take full advantage of this opportunity. If you would like to obtain some professional guidance, simply take a moment to arrange for a consultation with an experienced elder law attorney.