Elder law is the legal specialization that focuses on matters that are of particular interest to senior citizens. At the present time, the baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age. The population is going to be aging for quite some time. As a result, elder law is very relevant to a significant percentage of senior citizens during our current era.
If you want to be fully prepared for the eventualities of aging, you should discuss elder law matters with a licensed elder law attorney. Let’s look at some of the pressing issues.
Most working people will qualify for Medicare when they reach the age of 65. While you are paying taxes on your income, you are contributing into the Medicare program. You can earn as many as four retirement credits per year. Once you have accumulated 40 retirement credits, you will qualify for Medicare.
In 2014 you get one retirement credit for each $1200 that you earn, so the requirement is minimal.
Medicare will certainly help, but you should be aware of the limitations of the program. There are out-of-pocket expenses for covered care and treatment including co-payments, deductibles, and premiums.
In addition to these supplemental costs that you must absorb on your own, there is a big gap: Medicare will not pay for long-term care. This is a very big deal, because most seniors will need long-term care at some point in time.
Long-Term Care Expenses
Long-term care is very expensive. In the state of California, the median annual cost for a private room in a nursing home exceeds $100,000. Assisted living communities are also very expensive.
People often spend multiple years in these facilities, and 10 percent of nursing home residents require nursing home care for at least five years.
Medi-Cal and Veterans Benefits Planning
The solution for many is Medi-Cal, because this government run health insurance program will pay for long-term care. For certain wartime veterans and their surviving spouses, another option may be benefits available through the VA.
Elder law attorneys assist clients who want to prepare for future VA and Medi-Cal benefit eligibility. The rules are complex, and there are upper asset and income limits. To obtain eligibility without losing everything in the process, you must act ahead in advance in an intelligent and informed manner.
When you discuss your unique situation with an elder law attorney, you can gain an understanding of the program rules and regulations, ask any questions that you may have, and ultimately put a well conceived plan in place.
Free Report on Medi-Cal Planning
Long-term care costs can be devastating. If you need living assistance as a senior, Medi-Cal can help you preserve the assets that you have accumulated throughout your life. If you would like to learn more about the program, download our Free Medi-Cal Planning Report.
Medi-Cal Planning Consultation
If you would like to speak to an elder law attorney about long-term care costs, please call our office.