Elder law attorneys focus on legal matters that are of particular interest to senior citizens. Without question, the one issue that is more important than any other is the matter of long-term care and the costs that go along with it.
Eye Opening Statistics
Though it is not a very comfortable subject to discuss, there is no candy coating the fact that most senior citizens will need living assistance eventually. The figure is 70 percent according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Clearly, some folks can get the help that they need from family members and friends in their own homes for a period of time. This is the ideal scenario, but at some point, a senior may need a level of assistance that can only be provided by a professional.
About one third of elders will eventually live in nursing homes. Unfortunately, Medicare does not pay for the custodial care that these facilities provide.
Nursing Home Costs
You may get a bit of sticker shock when you learn about the price of nursing home care. In our area, you can expect to pay over a hundred thousand dollars for a stay in most nursing homes.
The average time that people spend in a nursing facility is 12 months, and the expenses can be doubled for married couples. These costs have been rising over recent years, so the numbers may be significantly higher if you or a loved one need nursing home care in 10 or 20 years.
- Fortunately, there is a solution in the form of Medicaid. This government health insurance program will cover a stay in a nursing home if you can gain eligibility.
- Since it is a need-based benefit, this is easier said than done if you retire with some resources. The asset limit is just $2000, but some things don’t count, including your home.
- People qualify for Medicaid to pay for long-term care by giving assets to their loved ones before they apply for coverage. This can sound easy enough, but it is complicated by the five-year look back period.
- All gift giving must be completed at least 60 months before you apply for Medicaid. If you violate this rule, you are not necessarily disqualified forever, but you are penalized.
- You would be ineligible for a period of time that is based on the amount that you gave away. For example, let’s say that the state determines that the average cost for a year in a nursing home is $100,000.
- If you give this much to your children two years before you apply for Medicaid, that amount would have paid for a year of nursing home care. Under these circumstances, your eligibility would be delayed by one year.
Naperville, Illinois Elder Resources
The city of Naperville has a Senior Help Desk set up at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center, which is on 305 West Jackson Ave. Their phone number is 630-848-3613.
If you visit the senior services page of the Naperville website, you will see links and phone numbers for all of the resources that are available to older members of our community.
We Can Help!
As you can see, advance planning is key if you want to qualify for Medicaid without losing anything in the process. There are steps that you can take to ensure your own financial security while you position your assets wisely with future Medicaid eligibility in mind.
We would be more than glad to help you put a custom crafted plan in place that will provide you and your family with peace of mind. You can send us a message to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone at (630) 568-8611.