Are you facing the problem of providing long-term care for a relative or are you considering a nursing home? Is the cost of skilled care more than you can afford? If so, you may need the assistance of a Medicaid planning attorney in Dayton, Ohio, to help you plan so that you can receive Medicaid benefits to help pay for your or a loved one’s long-term care in a Dayton nursing home.
The attorneys of Lovett & House Co., LPA have extensive experience representing individuals who need assistance with nursing home planning and Medicaid issues. The key to ensuring that you will have the funds available to provide for your care is to begin planning well in advance of needing skilled care. Contact our Dayton, OH, office by calling 937-429-7730 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to learn more about Medicaid and nursing homes in Ohio.
What about Medicare?
Most people assume that Medicare will cover the costs of a nursing home in the event a person does not have sufficient funds to pay for long-term care; however, this is not necessarily true. While Medicare may help pay the expense of having skilled care, it will only pay a portion of the bill for the first 100 days. This is assuming that you are eligible to receive Medicare benefits. With the cost of a skilled facility in Dayton, Ohio, costing $7,000 or more per month, Medicare is not an option to pay for nursing home care.
Can I use private long-term insurance to pay for a nursing home?
Yes, if you have a long-term insurance policy that covers nursing home care, you can use the benefits under that policy to pay for you care. Unfortunately, these types of insurance policies can be very expensive and the conditions and terms are typically very strict. Before you choose to purchase an insurance policy like this, you should discuss all of your options with a Dayton, Ohio, Medicaid planning attorney.
How does Medicaid pay for nursing home care?
Once you have exhausted your benefits under Medicare, you can apply for Medicaid benefits to help cover the costs of your long-term care. Medicaid is a government benefit that will pay for your stay in a facility; however, these benefits are not automatic. You must apply and qualify for Medicaid benefits in order to receive them. Because Medicaid rules are complex and difficult to understand, retaining an attorney with experience in this area can be very beneficial and can avoid problems with the application process.
One of the main problems people encounter with applying for Medicaid benefits is meeting the asset eligibility criteria. In many cases, a person or couple may have to “spend down” their assets in order to qualify. In Ohio, your liquid assets cannot exceed $1,500 for an individual. Liquid assets include cash, bank accounts, the cash value of insurance policies, retirement plants, some trusts, and real estate. In some cases, the person’s home may not be considered a liquid asset. Assets that are exempt include one vehicle, cemetery plots, and some funeral contracts. If you meet the asset eligibility criteria, you still must meet the medical and income criteria.
For Medicaid to pay for the expense of skilled care, the patient must require intermediate or skilled care. Your physician must certify that you require this level of care. Because assisted living facilities do not provide this level of care, the expense for these types of facilities are typically not covered.
Income is the last criteria that you must meet in order to have Medicaid pay for your long-term care. Your monthly income must be less than the monthly charges of the nursing home. If the person is married, his or her spouse’s income does not count toward this amount. All of the patient’s income will be paid to the facility, with a few exceptions, with Medicaid paying the remaining balance.
What if I have too many assets?
This is where proper Medicaid planning can benefit you with your future care. Unfortunately, you cannot simply give away your assets in order to meet the asset eligibility requirements. Gifting assets does not work. There is a five-year look-back period to determine if you gave away or gifted assets in an attempt to qualify for benefits. If it is discovered that you gave away or gifted assets, you will not be eligible for Medicaid during the penalty period.
The penalty period is calculated by dividing the value of the items you gave away or gifted by the average monthly cost of a long-term care facility. The resulting number will equal the number of months in your penalty phase. Until the penalty phase expires, you will not be eligible to receive Medicaid benefits to pay for your nursing home care. This can be a devastating problem if you or a loved one needs immediate skilled care.
Contact an Experienced Dayton, OH, Medicaid Attorney
Even though you are still healthy and can live on your own, you should be thinking about your future long-term care needs. In order to ensure that you will be able to qualify for benefits to pay your expenses, you need to begin planning now. The attorneys of Lovett & House have extensive experience helping individuals plan for their future needs. We can discuss the best way to preserve your assets while taking into consideration the possibility that you may need to qualify for Medicare in the future. You deserve to receive quality care regardless of your financial situation.
Our attorneys understand the complexities associated with being eligible for Medicaid benefits. We can help you develop a plan that will provide for your future medical needs and personal care without jeopardizing your income or assets. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your options and to discuss the best way to ensure that you and your loved ones will be cared for when the times become necessary for skilled care.