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Vandalia Nursing Home Planning Attorney
The village of Vandalia really took off in the late 1870s, driven in part by the demand for horse-drawn vehicles and the repairs on those vehicles. This created a thriving business in the village. Vandalia’s population in 1881 was only 315, but the village began steadily growing in population, and by 1959, it had outgrown its village status.
On January 1, 1960, Vandalia became a Charter City of the State of Ohio. By the time the 2020 census rolled around, Vandalia had more than 16,000 residents. Notable individuals from Vandalia include Josh Betts, former CFL quarterback, Roger Clemens, seven-time Cy Young Award winner, and Taylor Decker, football player for the Detroit Lions. Like many individuals across the nation, seniors in Vandalia sometimes need nursing home care. Those who have planned for such an event are always much better off than those who have not.
In fact, planning for the possibility of needing long-term care, allows you to protect the assets you have worked your entire life for, letting Medicaid pick up the costs. The highly experienced Vandalia nursing home planning attorneys from Lovett & House are ready to help you make the plans you need to protect your assets, ensuring your heirs receive the inheritance you worked for.
The attorneys in our firm collectively have decades of experience in estate planning, including Medicaid and nursing home planning. We will use this experience to your advantage when helping you plan for the future. George Lovett is a Board-Certified Specialist in estate planning, bringing solid experience and knowledge to the table. We offer a free, five-minute phone appointment to new clients. With more than 100 positive Google Reviews, you really couldn’t choose a better legal team for your Vandalia nursing home planning attorneys than Lovett & House.
Is Nursing Home Care Affordable?
According to caring.com, as of 2020, the average cost of a semi-private room in an Ohio nursing home is $7,148. Private accommodations cost about $1,100 more per month. There are few Americans who can afford this, therefore most depend on Medicaid to cover the costs of nursing home care. Across the United States, nursing home care ranges from $5,000 per month to as much as $25,000 per month, depending on geographic location, staffing levels, the complexity of care offered, and the quality and size of the facility. Many times, there are also many “extras” that the resident or their family members are expected to pay.
Doesn’t Medicare Pay for Nursing Home Care?
Many people mistakenly think Medicare will pay for nursing home care. Under very specific, limited circumstances, Medicare Part A will provide coverage for very short-term stays in nursing home facilities following a “qualified” hospital stay. If you had a stroke or another type of severe illness or injury, you might be able to receive specialized nursing care or rehabilitation services at a long-term care facility once released from the hospital.
This care would only pay a portion of the nursing home costs for up to 100 days, so long as your admission was within 30 days of leaving the hospital. A “portion” of the costs means 100 percent for the first 20 days, and a daily co-pay of more than $170.00 for days 21 through 100. So who does pay for nursing home care? Private pay means you pay out of pocket for your care until your resources are gone. At that time, Medicaid may become an option.
Some individuals have long-term care insurance, however, this insurance is prohibitively expensive for many Americans. Military veterans may have access to long-term care benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Medicaid is the agency that provides coverage for the majority of those in nursing homes. While Medicaid eligibility varies from state to state, there are strict rules regarding income and assets.
Why Do I Need to Plan for Nursing Home Care?
Because Medicaid has very strict rules, along with a five-year “lookback” period, it is essential that you plan for a time when you might need nursing home care long before you actually need it. If you consult with a Medicaid planning attorney before you need nursing home care, the attorney may be able to use one of the following strategies:
- Asset Protection Trusts distribute assets to chosen individuals upon your death, but with a “step-up” in basis to fair market value, allowing beneficiaries to avoid capital gains taxes. When properly structured, an asset protection trust means the transferred assets no longer belong to you, therefore, are beyond the reach of Medicaid (Asset protection trusts must meet the five-year lookback period).
- Qualified Income Trusts are irrevocable trusts that hold excess income and are sometimes referred to as Miller Trusts.
- Medicaid Compliant Annuities and Promissory Notes can help seniors dispose of assets, as long as the five-year lookback period is maintained. If assets are disposed of within the five-year period, a penalty will be triggered. The goal is to create a cash flow from your assets that can be used to pay for nursing home care during a shortened penalty period.
- A Caregiver Agreement can provide extra services that would not be covered by Medicaid—and that are typically out of the scope of what the average nursing home provides. A family member or friend who may have taken time off work or quit their job can render necessary services and receive an income, legally reducing the applicant’s countable resources.
- Spousal transfers may be used to ensure Medicaid eligibility. Transfers between spouses may be permitted and may not be subject to the look-back period and resulting penalties.
- Spending down assets may be an option, but you should always consult with a knowledgeable Vandalia nursing home planning attorney before you engage in this option.
Will I Qualify for Medicaid?
As of 2022, the Ohio income limit for a single applicant is $2,523 per month, while the asset limit is $2,000. For a married couple when both are applying for Medicaid nursing home care, the income limit is $5,046, while the asset limit is $3,000. A married couple with only one spouse applying has an income limit of $2,523 for the applicant, and an asset limit of $2,000. The other spouse’s income remains their own, and the non-applicant spouse has an asset limit of $137,400.
All income from any source is counted, and a non-applicant spouse may be entitled to a minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance from the applicant spouse if their own income is less than $2,288.75. Although your primary home is usually exempt from the Medicaid asset limit, it is not exempt from Medicaid’s estate recovery program. This means that upon the applicant’s death, Medicaid may attempt to receive reimbursement for care costs through any remaining estate. This is yet another reason that planning ahead is so vitally important.
How a Vandalia Nursing Home Planning Attorney from Lovett & House Can Help
Having a knowledgeable Vandalia nursing home planning attorney helping you through the process can make all the difference in the outcome. The Lovett & House attorneys are experienced and compassionate. We will ensure that your assets are shielded in the best ways possible ensuring that you will be eligible for Medicaid should you need long-term care. George Lovett has spoken and written on Medicaid and Nursing Home Planning issues hundreds of times to other lawyers, nursing home administrators, and family members. Contact Lovett & House, to address the broad range of concerns you may have regarding Medicaid and long-term care.