How Many People Don’t Have the Resources to Support Themselves with Long-Term Care?

Long-term care expenses can be catastrophic for a single person or even for the other spouse of a married couple. Most people anticipate aging in place or relying on family and friends as caregivers. But extensive long-term care needs might require assisted living or a nursing home.

A recent study indicates that 60% of those people who will have moderate or severe long term care needs will not have the financial or family resources to meet those needs. Medicaid will step in to provide assistance for some of them but without Medicaid in place nearly 16% of today’s 65-year-olds will have severe enough care needs that they will be unable to cover them with private resources. This highlights the importance of having a plan to qualify for Medicaid if and when that time comes.

Automatic qualification for Medicaid is very difficult since many people do not anticipate the illness or disabling injury that requires them to seek out long-term care. If you find yourself in the position of needing support from an experienced Medicaid planning lawyer, now is a good opportunity to walk through your options and see how your current strategy lines up with the possible expenses of the average long term care stay.

While there are plenty of nursing homes and great care facilities in Virginia, most people are caught off guard by both the expense of staying at one and the possibility for staying there a long time. In both these situations, it helps to plan ahead by thinking about the assets you can use to support yourself and assets you wish to pass on in your estate and how these impact Medicaid eligibility. Talk to a Virginia Beach lawyer today.

What Are Coverable Long Term Care Events?

In order for a long term care event to be covered under your long term care insurance policy or Medicaid, your doctor must indicate that you are unable to perform at least two activities of daily living. You may see these referenced in paperwork as ADLs. The other circumstance that could qualify you to get a long term care support is suffering a cognitive impairment. The six ADLs identified by medical professionals are continence, bathing, toileting, transferring, dressing and eating.

Continence refers to being able to control bodily functions and transferring means the ability to sit, stand and move about. However, you do not have to be admitted into a nursing home in order to claim benefits for long term care support. Long term care insurance policies can be used in several different situations, such as assisted living, rehab services or in-home care.

Increasingly, people are seeking out the option to age in place or stay in their own home while getting the support that they need. This may be a viable option for you going forward and should always be discussed directly with your experienced estate planning lawyer.

Most people who need long term care services in Virginia Beach hope to get that funded through Medicaid. If you’re not sure what it takes to qualify for Medicaid in Virginia Beach or need help getting that process kickstarted, now is the right time to speak with an experienced VA estate planning lawyer.

 

New Study Shows One Third of People Don’t Have What It Takes for Minimal Long Term Care

Who will foot the bill if you need a nursing home? That’s a question popping up for more and more families in America these days.

Long term care insurance is extremely expensive and premiums have been on the rise in recent years. This doesn’t bode well for those people who are most likely to need long term care after age 65. The possibility of requiring care later in life is a significant concern for any individual as well as their family.

Standalone long term care insurance is decreasing as a viable option for many people due to the number of insurance carriers who have exited the market as well as the overall cost. Unfortunately, the pandemic has also made this situation much worse by putting assisted living facilities and nursing homes under a microscope about what it’s like to live and work in these facilities.

Many people don’t anticipate needing to go into a nursing home and hope that their individual health remains intact throughout all of their later years but failing to plan properly can put them in a difficult situation or force their loved ones to take on care responsibilities later in life.

A new report from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that approximately one-third of Americans do not have enough resources to support one year’s worth of minimal long term care. Marital status also plays a significant role in determining who will get the care that they need. If you don’t have a long term care plan as part of your elder law strategy, you need to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable Virginia Beach estate lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights.

 

Am I Eligible for the Virginia PACE Program?

PACE is an integrated program of care for Virginia residents age 55 or more who meet the following criteria:

  • Have been certified as meeting functional needs for a nursing facility level of care.
  • Will be able to safely reside inside a PACE service community.
  • Live inside a PACE service area.

PACE services can be instrumental in assisting with your long term care plan. The program services can include prescription medication, dentistry, adult day care, occupational and physical therapy, hospital care, primary care and respite care. Any other services that are determined medically necessary by your team to support your overall health can be included in the PACE program.

PACE connects you directly with a team of health care professionals to provide individualized and coordinated care. The purpose of a team is to get to know you as an individual and ensure that your care is aligned with your preferences and personal goals. At certain times an individual might need a higher level of care either on a long term or temporary basis.

In these cases, PACE can cover the cost of nursing facility care but only 7% of current individuals enrolled in PACE live inside a nursing facility. For more questions about how to leverage PACE personally, schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer in Virginia.    

 

 

Do You Need Medicaid in Virginia for Your Long-Term Care?

At least 50% of healthy Americans above age 65 will need some form of long-term care in the future. This can come in the form of home care, assisted living or nursing home care. This kind of care might be necessary but regardless of the setting it can be very cost prohibitive.

There are five primary ways that you may be able to afford long term care in Virginia. These include:

  • Private pay; in which you write the provider a check directly from your own accounts.
  • Long term care insurance; which requires an active policy with regular premium payments. Only around 8% of Americans have bought LTC insurance.
  • Veterans’ Administration benefits, but these VA programs pays for less than 1% of all long term care services in the US.
  • Medicare; which is a common misconception since most people assume that Medicare would pick up the tab for long term care assistance. Medicare only pays for extremely limited benefits, such as a certain number of days in a nursing home if the person is receiving skilled care.
  • Medicaid; a low-income form of benefits payments that is responsible for more than half of all long term care expenses in the United States.

The Medicaid program is administered at the state level. The primary aspects for Virginia Medicaid eligibility include Virginia residency, membership in a covered group, medical and functional criteria, resource eligibility rules, asset transfer rules, and income eligibility rules.

To learn more about these complex aspects, schedule a consultation with an experienced Virginia elder lawyer today. Planning in advance and thinking through these options before a crisis situation emerges makes it easier for you and your loved ones.

 

 

Does Your Elder Law Plan Include Long Term Care Insurance?

You might not know just how many people rely on long-term care to deal with an ongoing or a short-term medical issue, but the odds show that there’s a good chance you’ll need long term care in the future.

If you don’t have any other plan in place and you don’t qualify for Medicaid when you face an urgent health crisis and need to go into a nursing home, you’ll pay an average of $140,000 out of pocket. For most people, that could decimate the retirement savings they had set aside for themselves or for them and their spouse.

Even though the numbers paint a picture of just how important it is to factor long term care into your elder law planning, few people consider long term care insurance as one of their options. In fact, only around 7 million Americans have long term care insurance to help pay for this very expensive and possibly necessary support.

Long term care insurance policies might not be the best fit for you, however. Many who bought these policies have been subjected to major rate spikes since the insurance companies underestimated how many claims they’d have to pay out. The number of companies offering LTC insurance has also dwindled. And some of the premiums for these policies can cost more than $2700 a year.

But just because LTC insurance might not be the right fit for you doesn’t mean your search for a plan stops there. Getting qualified for Medicaid does not have to be a difficult process, but you need to spend the time thinking over your choices and tools in advance. The right attorney can help you do that.

Speaking with an experienced elder law attorney in Virginia can prepare you for the possibility of nursing home care so that you can review all of your options.

Are You Concerned About Long Term Care Costs?

Does your estate plan account for long-term care costs? If not, you could end up paying out of your own retirement savings to cover necessary expenses for your care or for a spouse’s.

Studies have found that most people over age 65 will eventually need help with daily tasks of living, such as getting dressed, eating or bathing. One of the most interesting facts pulled from the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging is that women are likely to need care for a longer period of time than men.

Women will need this type of care on average for 3.7 years, while men will need this form of assistance for an average of 2.2 years. Many people will have little choice but to rely on unpaid care from children or spouses.

However, it’s important to realize that the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey shows that more than one-third of people in need of assistance will spend time in a nursing home. That nursing home care can be extremely expensive and is likely not be covered by Medicare.

This is because private health insurance in Medicare don’t often classify nursing home care custodial expenses which can eliminate a significant portion of your retirement savings. Planning ahead to qualify for Medicaid is extremely important and it’s something that should be done with the guidance of an experienced and dedicated lawyer in Virginia Beach.

 

 

Have You Neglected Long Term Care Planning for Your Estate?

A recent Banker’s Life survey that included 1500 middle income Americans between the ages of 54 and 72 reveals that most baby boomers haven’t planned for long term care expenses.

Around 10,000 people across the United States are turning 65 in the United States every single day, and of those, nearly 70% of people who are reaching retirement age will need some type of long term care assistance during their lifetime, according to research collected by the Department of Health and Human Services. The cost of long term care can decimate a person’s lifelong savings.

Baby boomers were more likely to plan for their death than to have a long term care plan in place. In fact, over 81% of respondents had prepared some sort of funeral arrangements, but less than one-third had a plan for how they will receive long term care in retirement. This is especially problematic given that someone’s retirement savings could be practically destroyed by just one long term care event.

A healthy spouse could also be the one who suffers as a result of failure to plan for the possibility of long term care expenses. Right now, DHHS estimates that the average cost of health care for a retiree is $138000, but nearly 80% of respondents in the Banker’s Life study said that they had no money set aside for retirement care needs.

You need to think about how estate planning and long term care planning can work together for your future. Schedule a consultation with an attorney in Virginia today.

 

Retirement Planning Beyond the Basics

There’s no doubt that the workforce is changing and as more baby boomers are reaching retirement age, this is also raising questions about how retirement is different. Traditional retirement planning might not cut it anymore, particularly if you’re not using comprehensive estate planning tools to target your goals. What is important to consider is making a written retirement plan for your financial and non-financial aspects of your life.

Establishing habits now before retirement makes things easier. While money is certainly a crucial component of your overall retirement plan, you shouldn’t be afraid to use some of the savings you’ve established to create a better life now instead of waiting until later. For example, investing in relationships and in better health can pay off in spades and cut down your overall costs in retirement.

Retirement is ranked 10th out of 43 total stressful events. Some people feel disoriented or overwhelmed in the first couple of years of retirement. There’s no doubt that you’ll be concerned about your life savings being gone before you are, and this is why traditional retirement planning largely focuses on the money.

However, don’t forget about non-financial retirement issues. Living longer makes many people confused because they don’t know what to do about it. Some people fear that living longer just means they are less capable for longer periods of time due to incapacitating events or cognitive issues.

Long-term care planning, brain health considerations, and life insurance are all important. Putting together a written non-financial estate plan should begin by looking at things like family beliefs, values, and traditions. This makes it a lot easier to identify the legacy that you intend to pass on to future generations with ease. Schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney in Virginia to learn more.

Discharges, Medicare, and Long Term Care Basics for Seniors

A new study identified that Medicare could save approximately $4.6 billion with no negative impact by disallowing discharges to long term care hospitals. The study analyzed different outcomes for patients between 1998 and 2014 for those patients who were discharged to long term hospitals.  
Do you have long term care insurance to help you plan ahead for your future? If not, do you have a Medicaid plan in place to ensure that you’ll be ready to tap into government benefits when you need them?
Markets with LTCHs tended to be bigger than those without and that made up nearly 35% of Medicare enrollees by the conclusion of the 16-year period. When compared with rates for time spent in a skilled nursing home, per day rates averaged $1400 in 2014 in comparison with $450 for a skilled nursing home. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that Medicare will pay for all of your advanced care needs- this misconception and the related lack of Medicaid planning costs families.
The skilled nursing home would have been the alternative for nearly all of the LTCH patients and the choice to use LTCH facilities, instead, represented a 33,000 increase in overall Medicare spending. Since many different policymakers are looking for ways to reign in the spending on health care, it is important for anyone who is planning for their own financial future to consider how best to protect their individual interests.
You need the support of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to help you understand how Medicaid and Medicare may work together and may not work together in your future years as you plan for the possibility of long term care events that could disrupt your savings and your retirement. The support of a lawyer is instrumental in finding loopholes in your plan and helping you to articulate new strategies that consider the future.