If you reach the age of 65, you will have a 40% chance of entering a nursing home. About 10% of the people who enter a nursing home will stay there five years or more. This year, about 9 million people over the age of 65 will need eldercare. It is estimated that by 2020, more than 12 million older Americans will need eldercare. Most will be cared for at home with family and friends as the sole caregivers. Many have taken care of family members who had no means to pay for their care or have seen their parents entire retirement savings wiped out because of medical and nursing home costs.
But, doesn’t the Government Medicare program pay for eldercare costs?
The answer . . . Generally, Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Medicare pays only for medically necessary skilled nursing facility or home health care. However, you must meet certain conditions for Medicare to pay for these types of care. Medicare will not pay for what is called “custodial care” which is care that helps you with activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, cooking, etc.
How does Medicare cover long-term care costs?
Fortunately, there is a Government program that will help pay for long term care costs . . . it is called Medicaid. Unfortunately, this program is very discriminatory and will only pay for care for individuals who have less than $1,500 to $2,000 in assets. All other individuals wanting help from Medicaid must impoverish themselves paying for their own eldercare services first, before Medicaid will help.
Planning for the rest of your life and including Government programs can be invaluable yet complicated. However, there is help! The National Care Planning Council has introduced a new long-term care planning tool called “Life Resource Planning”. It is nearly impossible to predict what your future eldercare needs will be. Will you need home care, assisted living or nursing home care? It is important to have a plan in place that will provide the financial, legal and family support as well as protecting your assets, no matter what happens. The goal of Life Resource Planning is to provide strategies and solutions pertaining to any or all items that is unique to your situation.
With the help of trained professionals who understand all of the issues pertaining to eldercare, a plan can be prepared to protect assets, locate appropriate funding and provide the necessary support to ease the burden for the final years of life.
For more information on Life Resource Planning for yourself or loved one, please visit www.longtermcarelink.net/LRP/index.htm.