Planning for Long-Term Care FAQs

      • The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging defined long-term care as follows: “It [long-term care] differs from other types of health care in that the goal of long-term care is not to cure an illness, but to allow an individual to attain and maintain an optimal level of functioning. Long-term care encompasses a wide array of medical, social, personal, and supportive and specialized housing services needed by individuals who have lost some capacity for self-care because of a chronic illness or disabling condition.”

      • Fortunately, we now have a variety of options that may be able to hold off the need for nursing home care. Seniors who need assistance with the daily tasks of living or who require less extensive medical care, may be able to make use of options such as home health care, adult day health care, and assisted living facilities instead of needing to enter a nursing home facility.

      • The high cost of LTC is one of the primary reasons why you should include a LTC planning component in your estate plan long before you need care. As of 2021, the average cost of a year in long-term care is over $100,000. For Florida residents, the average cost of LTC was just above the national average, at around $115,000 per year, that same year. Keep in mind that experts estimate that in 20 years the cost of LTC will likely double. Being forced to pay out of pocket for the cost of LTC can put your retirement nest egg at risk.

      • Medicaid is a healthcare program that is primarily funded by the U.S. federal government; however, it is administered by the individual states and may receive supplemental funding from the states. Consequently, the eligibility guidelines and benefits offered can vary somewhat from one state to the next. Typically, Medicaid covers healthcare services for low-income children and families, pregnant women, and for the aged and disabled.

      • Most basic health insurance plans will not cover LTC expenses nor will Medicare. Unless you can easily pay for LTC out of pocket, you will likely find yourself turning to Medicaid for help, like over half of all seniors in nursing home facilities. Medicaid Will help with your long-term care expenses if you are eligible for benefits. Eligibility depends, in part, on the value of your “countable resources.” Excess countable resources will cause your application to be denied while transferring assets in anticipation of applying will likely lead to a waiting period. Either way, you will be responsible for covering your LTC expenses using your own assets.  Medicaid planning can prevent such an unwanted outcome.

Author Bio

Justin Stivers is the founder and managing attorney of Stivers Law, an estate planning firm specializing in wills, probate, trust administration, and financial risk management services. Justin’s approach goes beyond just creating legal documents. From aligning investments with estate plans to ensuring comprehensive insurance coverage, he safeguards a client’s legacy from unforeseen circumstances. His commitment extends beyond individual transactions, fostering lifelong partnerships to provide ongoing support and guidance.

With an impressive track record, Justin is licensed by the Florida and the Tennessee State Bars. His professional portfolio boasts Series 65 registration as a Registered Investment Advisor, the Wealth Management Specialist™ designation, and a 2-15 License for Health, Life, and Annuities. His dedication to excellence has earned him positions like Board Member of the Estate Planning Council of Greater Miami, Business Eagle Member of the Florida Justice Association, and active membership in esteemed organizations like the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.

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