You qualify for Medicare through the accumulation of retirement credits. These credits are earned when you pay FICA or self-employment taxes. It takes 40 credits to earn eligibility, and you can accumulate as many as four credits in a year. This year, you earn one credit for every $1220 that you earn, so when you do the math, you can see that the requirements are very modest.
Medicare does not pay for everything in full, and this is something to be well aware of when you are creating a retirement budget. There are deductibles, co-payments, and premiums that you must cover yourself.
In most cases, these out-of-pocket expenses are relatively manageable. However, there is a situation that most seniors will face that is not covered at all.
Many senior citizens will someday need custodial long-term care, and Medicare does not pay for it. The program will, for a limited time, pay for convalescent or rehabilitative care when you are on the road to recovery from an illness or injury, but it will not pay for custodial care. This is the form of care that you would receive in a nursing home or assisted living community.
We practice law in northern California, and in our area, a year in a nursing home can cost over $100,000, and people often spend multiple years receiving nursing home care.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
When you digest all the information above, you may have some serious concerns. The good news is that there are nursing home asset protection strategies that can be implemented to keep assets in your family if you need long-term care.
Your nursing home asset protection strategy can involve Medi-Cal eligibility. This government program does pay for long-term care, but it is only available to people with very limited financial resources. To qualify, you could give assets to your loved ones. This is not necessarily going to impact you negatively, because the nursing home would probably be your final place of residence if you ultimately require nursing home care.
Timing is key, because your eligibility is delayed if you give gifts within 30 months of the submission of your application for Medi-Cal coverage.
Our Firm Can Help
Every responsible adult should consider the implementation of a nursing home asset protection plan. If you take the right steps, you can get quality care if you ever need it, and you can preserve the inheritances that you want to leave to your loved ones.
Our firm can help if you would like to discuss the details. To set up a consultation, contact us through this page: Sacramento CA Nursing Home Asset Protection.
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