Long-term care is a very pressing issue for people who are planning ahead for the future. It can be hard to envision a time when you will no longer be able to take care of your own activities of daily living. However, statistics indicate that most senior citizens will eventually need living assistance.
The majority of Americans are eligible for Medicare when they reach the age of 65. Medicare will pay for convalescent care after surgery, but it won’t pay for long-term custodial care. This is the type of care that you would receive in a nursing home or assisted living community.
Medicaid and In-Home Care
Some people can receive help with their activities of daily living while remaining at home, but there can be costs involved. The Medicaid program may pay for in-home custodial care indirectly through the Home and Community-Based Services waiver program.
In-home care can be a good choice for many individuals on a number of levels, and it can be good for the society as well. On a personal level, many seniors are quite attached to their homes. As we all know, memory challenges can manifest in elders. The familiar surroundings of the home that you have lived in for 20, 30 or 40 years would logically be comforting.
Of course, there are financial considerations as well. Genworth Financial has been conducting an ongoing study that is keeping track of long-term care costs across the United States. (We have offices in North Carolina and Kentucky.)
When you compare the cost of in-home care to a stay in an assisted living facility or nursing home, you see a great deal of value. For example, during the current calendar year, the median annual charge for a private room in a nursing home in North Carolina is $82,125.
According to this study, the median cost for a home health aide is right around $40,000 annually, and a professional homemaker would cost about $1000 less. These figures are calculated based on 44 hours of care per week, 52 weeks per year.
The Medicaid program is jointly administered by the federal government along with each respective state government. The costs of administering the program are shared. Each state has a good bit of latitude with regard to the exact way that the program is administered.
The Home and Community-Based Services program is called a waiver program because the eligibility requirements for HCBS regarding asset and income limits are less stringent than the limits for direct Medicaid eligibility. The exact parameters vary on a state-by-state basis.
Medicaid Planning Consultation
Clearly, Medicaid rules are quite complex, and you have a lot of decisions to make if you are creating a financial plan with future Medicaid eligibility in mind. If you would like to have your questions answered, we can help. Our firm offers free consultations to people in Northern Kentucky, Ashland, Kentucky, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
If you would like to request an appointment, send us a message through our contact page.