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Archive for the ‘Medicaid Planning’ Category

The costs of long-term care continue to rise.  The average cost of one month in a nursing home, according to the State of Michigan, is now at $6816 per month or almost $82,000 per year.  The hourly cost of home care is $20 or more per hour.  This is more than most people can afford.  A recent Harvard study noted that 69% of single individuals and 34% of married couples would use up their life’s savings after paying for a nursing home for less than a year.  In addition, these same individuals also cannot afford the high cost of long-term care insurance.

Therefore, getting funding to pay for the high cost of long term care is very important.  The government program that provides help in paying for the cost of long-term care is Medicaid.  Unfortunately, the government has very strict rules about assets that must be met before it will pay for these high costs.  The rules are very different depending upon whether the person is pre-planning or crisis planning. (more…)

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It is good news that those who served during wartime may be eligible for an “Aid and Attendance” pension to help pay for long-term care at home or in an adult-foster care or assisted living center.  This pension can pay between one thousand and two thousand dollars a month to help cover care costs.  That supplement has been a help to thousands who would not be able to stay out of a nursing home without it.

In addition, at Heritage Elder Law & Planning, PC, we have found that those who do qualify for the Veterans pension have a distinct advantage when it comes to long-term care overall.  This is true because in spite of heroic efforts, approximately seventy-five percent of those getting assisted living care will end up needing nursing home care at some point.  Therefore, planning for the nursing home is essential even for those who will qualify for the Veterans Aid & Attendance pension. (more…)

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In the past I have discussed various ways of paying for home care though the Veteran’s programs and private pay.  In this post I will discuss how and under what conditions Medicaid will pay for long-term care services provided in a person’s home.

While senior citizens usually think of Medicaid as a program that helps pay for nursing home care, there is the option of having Medicaid pay for care in the home.  The Medicaid program that handles home care is called the “MI Choice Waiver Program.”  It provides home and community-based services for aged and disabled persons who, if they did not receive such services, would require care in a nursing home. 

The MI Choice Waiver Program is administered by various branches of the Area Agency on Aging.  A list of the branch offices and the counties they serve can be found at: http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/olmweb/ex/pem/106.pdf. (more…)

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A recent case in Connecticut shows how the fallout from the new Deficit Reduction Act is hurting not only nursing homes and their residents, but the residents’ families as well.  In the case of Glastonbury Healthcare Center, Inc. v. Esposito, the nursing home successfully sued the adult son of a resident for over $100,000.  This has sent up a loud warning for those families who are tempted not to plan ahead for their long term care needs.  It also sends a warning to facilities that assume patients can handle the Medicaid process without professional help.

 

In the Esposito case the adult son, Carmine Esposito, signed an Admissions Agreement when his elderly mother entered the nursing home.  He signed it under the power of attorney from his mother.  He did not sign it personally as the Responsible Party.  Among other things, this document contained the provision that the Responsible Party agrees to “act promptly and expeditiously to establish and maintain eligibility for Medicaid assistance.”  (more…)

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In today’s day and age advances in medicine have permitted us to extend and preserve life more than ever before.  However, for most that means that there is a period of time — especially as we age — when we will live with a disability.  Thus, there needs to be a way of appointing someone to help us with legal and financial decisions when we are not able.  This is especially important when long-term care costs threaten to drain an estate that could be saved with the proper grant of authority.   

A “power of attorney” is the most common way of appointing someone to help with important legal and financial decisions.  It is a written document wherein one can appoint someone to handle some or all of their legal and financial affairs.  The document is based on agency law.  You (the one appointing) are called the “principal” and the one appointed is called the “agent”.   (more…)

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As days of retirement approach, health problems often become a concern. Inevitable issues such as stroke, heart disease and cognitive impairment can mean a whole new way of life. 

Even after working long and hard to acquire resources for your retirement, there are more steps to be taken. It has become necessary to insure your funds so that the hard-earned money will still be there when you need it most.

 Many mistakenly believe that government programs such as Medicare or Medicaid will cover the costs of long-term care. Medicare will cover some skilled nursing for a limited period (100 days, if you are responding to treatment).  Medicaid will only cover long-term care costs for impoverished individuals or those who have implemented proper legal strategies. Health insurance does not cover nursing home or other long-term costs except for short-term rehabilitation. When age-related problems call for long term care such as a nursing home stay or assisted living, the out of pocket costs involved (currently over $6000 per month in Michigan) are sure to speedily drain retirement funds and leave the remaining healthy spouse in poverty. (more…)

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Many of my clients are being cared for by loved ones or are providing that kind of care for others. Sensitivity to the difficulties they face can help all of us provide better service to the elderly and their caregivers.

As the population of elderly people in our country continues to increase, so does the number of adult children who have taken on the responsibility of caring for their aging relatives. According to the Census Bureau, about 1 in 8 Americans were elderly in 1994, but about 1 in 5 will be elderly by the year 2030—and will increasingly require the assistance of loved ones to obtain the care they need.

According to a 6-year study on elderly people caring for spouses with Alzheimer’s Disease, the stress involved with caregiving can negatively impact your health. The study, done at Ohio State University in 2003, found a significant deterioration in the health of caregivers and a 63% higher death rate than the similar group of non-caregivers. The continuous demands placed on an adult child caring for an aging parent can induce illness and depression, limit the effectiveness of the caregiver, and even lead to premature death. (more…)

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