Paying for long term care is a scary thing for most families. In California, the annual costs of a semi-private room (one roommate) is over $100,000 and a private room is even more. Double these numbers if spouses or partners need care at the same time and there are additional expenses as well.
How to Pay for Long Term Care
- Private Pay
- Long Term Care Insurance
- Veterans Benefits
Some folks can self insure because they can afford to private pay; however, this isn’t usually the case and often those with larger estates will also purchase long term care insurance so preserve their estate.
Consult with a qualified and experienced estate and elder care planning attorney to plan for the possibility of nursing home in the future.
Long Term Care Insurance
Most folks find that all the premiums they pay for long term care insurance are recouped in the first few months of care. In many policies the insurance premiums are tax deductible and you get to choose how much coverage you wish to purchase.
Policies vary widely in terms of types of coverage (in-home, institutional, both), payment levels (which are typically a stated daily benefit), duration (from months to lifetime), and other criteria.
An experienced and qualified elder care attorney can assist in evaluating the types and amounts of coverage available.
Veterans benefits are available for certain veterans and their families where the veteran has a service-related injury. Other veterans benefits are available to pay for long term care if you or your spouse served in the U.S. military during designated wartime periods and are financially needy.
Medicare, which is the health insurance program for most Americans over age 65, has only a limited long term care benefit. It is commonly triggered by a discharge into the nursing home from a hospital stay. It’ primary purpose must be for rehabilitation and it maxes out at 100 days in most circumstances.
For persons with terminal illnesses, there is also a hospice benefit available through Medicare.
Medi-Cal pays for long term care if you are both medically and financially needy. With careful planning, carefully tailored legal documents and the assistance of an experienced and qualified elder care attorney, individuals can qualify for Medi-Cal benefits long before they exhaust all of their finances.
Get Qualified Legal Counsel
If you are age 50 or older (or are age 40 or older and have a family history of early onset dementia) consult with a qualified Elder Law attorney to add long term care planning to your estate plan.