As our population ages, more and more of us confront elder law-related issues, whether for ourselves or our parents. Elder law is an aspect of estate planning which focuses on the needs of individuals and their families as they age. Issues of aging include accessing and paying for quality health care, identifying the need for long-term care, securing senior housing, designating trusted individuals for health care and financial decisions, and applying for Medicare or Medicaid.
Long Term Care
An important elder law issue is long-term nursing home care, which is not covered by traditional health insurance.
Depending on location and the level of care needed, nursing home care can cost from $35,000 to $150,000 a year with the average stay being slightly longer than three years. Most people end up paying for nursing home care until their personal (or family) assets are depleted at which point they may qualify for Medicaid to pick up the cost.
Careful planning, however, can help protect your assets, whether for your spouse or for your children.
Medicare and Medicaid
Clients are often confused about the differences between Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is a federal health insurance program in which most people enroll when they turn 65 years old. Because Medicare is an entitlement program, there are no financial qualification rules.
Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage for those with a very low income. Medicaid programs offer basic medical coverage to nursing home programs.
Senior Housing Options
Moving a loved one to senior housing can seem like a daunting process. Deteriorating health, the death of a spouse, or safety concerns can trigger the need for a move. Many families find themselves searching for an intermediate level of residential care for seniors who aren’t safe living alone. We can assist you in the necessary steps to make the transition easier.
Do you wish to address the issues which arise as you or a loved one age? Contact us today to schedule an appointment.