When you look into the statistics, you find that many American senior citizens will need long-term care at some point in time. If you have always been healthy, you should not be overconfident, because healthy people typically live longer lives. As you reach an advanced age, it becomes more and more likely that you will need long-term care.
The Medicare program will not help with long-term care costs. Medicare will pay for rehabilitative care after an illness or an injury, but it does not pay for custodial care, which is the type of care you would receive in a nursing home or assisted living community.
Long-term care costs are exorbitant, and they have been rising year-by-year. We practice law in Northern California, and it can easily cost you over $100,000 to spend a year in a nursing home in our area. That’s a pretty big number in and of itself, but people often spend multiple years receiving nursing home care.
Long-Term Care Insurance
It is possible to purchase long-term care insurance. If you qualify and you pay the premiums, if and whan you ever need long-term care, the company will provide you with an agreed-upon benefit to defray your costs.
Long-term care insurance can provide you with peace of mind on the one hand, but on the other hand, it is quite expensive. As you might imagine, it gets more expensive as you get older and it may be unavailable if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
Though most people will need some form of living assistance eventually, there are those who never need help with their activities of daily living. Others can receive the assistance that they need in their own homes as family members and friends step up to provide support.
If you never reside in a long-term care facility, you would get nothing in return for the premiums that you paid unless you have purchased the newer hybrid policies.
Medi-Cal is a government health insurance program that does pay for long-term care, but there are income and asset limits, because it is a need-based program. To qualify for Medi-Cal, people often give assets to their loved ones.
In the state of California, there is a 30 month look-back. You may have to complete your gift giving at least 30 month before you apply if you want to obtain Medi-Cal coverage as soon as you enter a long-term care facility.
This is where long-term care insurance can be quite useful. You could carry long-term care insurance for 30 months after you give assets to your loved ones to protect yourself during this interim. At the end of the 30 months, you would be able to qualify for Medi-Cal if you need long-term care.
Schedule a Consultation
We have provided a bit of basic information in this blog post. If you would like to discuss long-term care in detail with an experienced and qualified elder law attorney, feel free to contact us through this page to request a consultation: Sacramento CA Estate Planning Attorneys.