318.445.4516

Greg Walker Law

318.445.4516

Long Term Care Benefits Planning

WHAT IS LONG TERM CARE BENEFITS PLANNING?


Just the thought of outliving your assets can trigger fear.

The fact is that this problem happens more now than ever before. Thanks to modern medicine, we are living longer.

The odds of needing nursing home care are high. Research shows roughly that one out of every two people over age 65 need care – a figure much higher than other routinely insured risks such as homes or automobiles.

Sure, if you can afford a monthly $4,500-$7,000 monthly bill for nursing home care for you or a loved one, you can skip the planning process. But if you’re without these financial means, planning for nursing home care (and potential disease or death) is a practical way to prevent an almost certain crisis.

Families get destroyed when certain steps aren’t taken to prepare for nursing home care. The financial strain can be devastating.

Fortunately, recent changes in nursing home care and benefits have opened up the door for help covering costs. So forget what you’ve seen or heard about qualifying for nursing home care benefits.

You have to access insurance plans and Medicaid strategies that can protect you when you can no longer take care or yourself or a loved one. Most people just don’t know where and how to get them.

To help you with the planning process of nursing home care, we offer a free awareness guide, How to Protect Your Family’s Assets from Catastrophic Nursing Home Costs, you can access right now. After all, when you educate yourself today, you can reduce the hours you spend with an attorney and falling victim to shady advice or shams. The guide gives quick and easy tips to help get you qualified for nursing home benefits.

LONG TERM CARE


Monthly cost of long term care: $4,500-$7,000

Average age of a person entering a long term care facility: 79

Percentage of Nursing Home costs covered by private insurance: 7.5%

FORGET THE “FIVE-YEAR RULE”…THESE ARE THE THREE STEPS TO QUALIFY FOR LONG TERM CARE BENEFITS


  • 1.

    An individual must have a medical need for being in the nursing home, and intend to remain there for at least thirty (30) days.
  • 2.

    An individual’s gross income for the month of application should not exceed $2,205. There is no limit on the spouse’s income. If the individual’s income exceeds the limit, there are likely exceptions that may still result in satisfying the income test.
  • 3.

    An individual’s assets should not exceed $2,000 on the first day of the month that he/she is applying for benefits. The spouse’s assets should not exceed $120,900. Some of the assets may be exempt and not counted towards the limits.
Many people believe that if you give your assets away, you must wait five years (60 months) to qualify for Medicaid Long-Term Care benefits. This is not the case. The “five-year rule” has nothing to do with determining your qualification for benefits – it only applies to the financial disclosure you must provide.

Think of it this way: When you go to apply for benefits, imagine you’re bringing a box with you. In that box is every financial transaction you’ve made for the previous 60 months. That is all you need to provide – if you made a transaction 61 months ago, it’s not in the box. So, 60 months is just the size of the “box.” It’s that simple. This is commonly referred to as the Medicaid “look back period.”

Certain transactions in the look-back period may cause a delay before Medicaid begins paying full benefits. This is called a “penalty period.” If you make proper planning decisions, you may qualify immediately even if your “box” contains information that might otherwise subject you to a penalty period with partial Medicaid benefits.

How to Protect Your Family's Assets from
Catastrophic Nursing Home Costs.

FAQ


Q.Can I just give everything to my children?
Q.How much of my assets can be saved?
Q.I’ve given things away in the past five years. Can I still qualify for Medicaid benefits?
Q.If I didn’t do any planning 5 years ago, is there still hope?