Avoiding Nursing Home Costs

old womanYou may be shocked to discover that the cost of nursing homes in Dayton, Ohio, can be $5,000 or more a month. With these kinds of price tags, you could lose your hard-earned savings and assets before you know it. Paying for long-term (or even short-term) care for yourself or your loved one is not cheap—period. But more and more people in the Midwest are turning to outside care for their aging family members and friends.

For many of you, your parents are getting older and showing signs more and more that they are unable to live on their own. They need someone to make meals for them, help them to exercise, even bathe them. Some have more serious physical and/or mental disorders that require even more; they need someone who will be just steps away at all times. Most adult kids don’t have the time to be that person for their parents, even with the best of intentions. You cannot take care of your parents forever; you are starting to realize this sad truth. You are not alone; many of our clients are in the same exact shoes as you.

Nursing home care is a great solution for many people in your situation. Unfortunately, paying for nursing home care is a huge concern for many families. It is incredibly expensive, and figuring out how you are going to finance it is not very easy. This is where we come in.

At Lovett & Lovett Co., LPA, we have helped many elderly Ohio residents and their families to plan for nursing home care, whether long-term or short-term. We apply our experience and extensive knowledge to make sure that your assets and estate are preserved as much as possible. Aging is a natural process and one that should not drain you of everything you have worked for. We have offices in Tipp City, Dayton, and Springfield, Ohio. Contact us at one of our offices to see how we can help you. In the meantime, read on for some general information about how to avoid nursing home costs.

Start Planning Now for Future Nursing Home Care

The average annual cost of staying in a nursing home is $100,000. With an average stay of two and a half years, you can see how the money goes fast and just how critical it is to have a plan in place.

While you may think that Medicare or Medicare Supplemental Insurance will save the day, these do not normally cover the cost of long-term nursing home care. Their benefit, if any, is only for a short amount of time.

Contrary to what you might think, Medicaid is actually your better bet for nursing home expense coverage. However, these benefits, although available to assist with nursing home costs, have strict eligibility requirements and asset limits. In fact, the law has made it very difficult for seniors to qualify for Medicaid. It is never too late to plan for nursing home care. Often this planning begins when a concerned son or daughter calls after the hospital informs them that Mom or Dad cannot go home. Even in these instances, steps can be taken to preserve as many assets as possible; however the sooner one plans, the more assets they can likely preserve.

Nursing Home Planning Strategies

As mentioned, in order to qualify for Medicaid, there are limits on the assets you are allowed to have. After all, Medicaid is a program that helps to cover certain medical costs for those with limited income. If you have a large estate, you may not qualify. Many people frantically try to give away, or gift, all of their assets to their family in the hopes that, by having less to their name, they will qualify for medical coverage. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way.

It is possible to use gifting to your advantage, but only if you know what you are doing. When making an application Medicaid will review all transfers of assets within the prior five years. This is called the “look-back” period and is heavily regulated. If you make an asset transfer during this time, you may be penalized with temporary Medicaid ineligibility.

There are, however, situations in which you are allowed to gift during this five-year period. It is critical that you consult a Dayton nursing home planning attorney about your gifting strategy to make sure that you do not get yourself in a bind that you cannot get out of. Gifting can create more problems than it solves; you do not want this to happen to you.

In addition to gifting, there are also assets that are simply not counted as assets and therefore can be kept in your name. With non-countable assets, you do not have to worry about transferring these to someone else’s name in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits. For example, non-countable assets can include an irrevocably prepaid funeral; a vehicle; and even some homes. Other items can be included, such as payments for outstanding debts, like a mortgage or credit card balances.

Long-term care insurance is another potential way to protect your assets. This insurance covers the cost of long-term nursing home care based on the policy you purchase and the benefits that policy includes. There are many different types of long-term care insurance policies available that offer a range of benefits and pricing structures to assist those with different asset and income levels. However, in order to qualify for long-term care insurance, it is important that you consider looking into this option sooner rather than later, as a pre-existing condition may make you ineligible.

We Can Help

We understand that planning for nursing home costs and long-term care can be difficult, confusing, and especially hard to predict. This article has just touched on some of the issues and strategies involved in nursing home care and your future health care needs. We are here to answer your questions and alleviate your concerns, so you can have a smart plan in place that protects your assets while looking after you, your spouse, and your family.

The attorneys at Lovett & Lovett Co., LPA have worked with seniors and their families to address a wide range of concerns related to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, including showing them how to qualify for Medicaid.

Click on our helpful links below to learn more about what you can do to avoid nursing home costs. You can also call our office today to schedule a free consultation.

Medicaid and Nursing Homes: Planning Techniques

How To Begin Planning For a Nursing Home Stay

Medicaid & Nursing Home Planning in Dayton, OH

10 Things You Must Know About Nursing Homes