How To Pay For Long-Term Care
In a recent blog post, we discussed what long term care services are available and what qualifies you for them. With the average yearly cost of nursing home care in Phoenix running around $112,000 and increasing annually, paying for long-term care can be a staggering consideration. They are expensive and can quickly wipe out a lifetime of savings. In this article, we will look at how Phelps LaClair can design custom estate plans that can save you money – lots of it. Our clients in Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale appreciate our innovative solutions. We are certain that you will, too.
Long-term care insurance
Long-term care insurance is a comprehensive insurance that pays for most of the costs of long-term care. Some of the options available include care at home, at hospice and respite centers, in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. If home care is required, services usually include skilled nursing care, personal care, occupational, rehabilitation and speech therapy.
There is no “one size fits all” standard with long-term care insurance. Coverage and qualifications vary between companies. There are some general restrictions, however, that affect whether you qualify. Common conditions for denial include AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, recent strokes and metastasized cancer. If you have any of these when you apply for long-term care insurance, you will be denied.
If you do buy long-term care insurance, plan carefully so you don’t but too much or too little. It is expensive to both over and under-estimate what you may need in the future. There may be some long-term care services that can be covered by family members.
The biggest factor in the cost of long-term care insurance is your age when you purchase it. The younger you are, the less it will cost. Again, careful planning and consulting is needed in order not to waste money.
If long-term care insurance is not right for you, you might think that Medicare will work for you. However, while most people over 65 have Medicare to cover their medical expenses, Medicare only provides limited coverage for long-term care. There are only certain circumstances that are covered, and those are limited to a few months duration.
Medicaid is an option, but you must be both sick and “poor” to qualify. The financial restrictions limit you to having no more than $2,000 in countable assets, such as cash on hand and investment accounts. There is also a lookback period of five years. If you have had more than the maximum $2,000 within that time, you will be assessed a severe penalty.
Funding a trust
Phelps LaClair designs specialized trusts that can protect assets, provide income and be used to help you qualify for long-term care assistance through Medicaid and other government programs. Including an irrevocable trust in your estate plan can allow your trustee to use your assets in such a way that you will meet the maximum allowable and have the long-term care you need.
We are Phelps LaClair, a second generation estate planning law firm with forty years experience serving the Phoenix Valley. When it comes to long-term care planning, we have the knowledge and experience to find the best solution for you. Call us for a free consultation at no cost to you. Your future and the future of your family depend on wise planning, and that is what we do!