Paying for Long-Term Care: Unique to Each Family’s Situation

By Daniel A. Perry, Esq.

The decision to transition a loved one to a long-term care nursing home facility is never an easy decision. In addition, the decision and discussion on how to pay for a loved one’s long-term care is an equally difficult decision.

Furthermore, paying for long-term care is unique to each family’s circumstances and situation:

  • Some people will rely on Medicaid assistance to pay for their long-term care
  • Some will rely on long term care insurance (this is become less and less likely due to companies no longer offering the insurance and rising premiums)
  • Some people will have to pay their own way
  • Some will use a combination of the above

Some Troubling Information

  • The average cost to live in a nursing home is $5,000 to $6,000 per month (that is $60,000 to $72,000 per year)
  • The average stay in a nursing home is 3.4 years (although for Alzheimer’s patients the average stay is much longer)
  • The average percentage of nursing home residents receiving Medicaid benefits is 64%

It is easy to see that, on average, a person paying their own way in a nursing home can expect to pay between $204,000 to $244,800 of their hard-earned life savings on long-term care expenses.

However, what about the 64% of nursing home residents who receiving Medicaid benefits?

Medicaid Qualification (What Can You Own?)

  • Home (equity cannot exceed $572,000)
  • One car
  • Prepaid funeral
  • $2,000 in extra assets

There are also income qualification rules if you are married and one spouse stays at home and the other spouse is in a nursing home. However, we will cover these issues in future articles.

What Happens When You Are on Medicaid After Death?

Medicaid Is Not Free! After you die, Medicaid has estate recovery rights that require Medicaid to recover their costs by exercising a lien against your estate to recover cost expended on your behalf while you were in the nursing home.

However, there is a single legal strategy that a person can employ that can allow them to protect their assets for their loved ones, while maintaining the assurance that their long-term care will be covered in the event, they end up in a nursing home.

For More Information

If you have questions regarding estate planning, elder law, or Medicaid planning, please contact our office at (513) 241-0400 or use the contact form available on this website to schedule a time to meet with one of our Estate Planning and Elder Law attorneys. We look forward to hearing from you!