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Posts Tagged ‘Medicaid Planning’

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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According to a recent study, when asked about their most important concerns for the future the elderly are most fearful about:

1) Remaining independent in their homes without intervention from others;

2) Maintaining good health and receiving adequate health care;

3) Having enough money for everyday needs and not outliving assets and income.

While the elderly are certainly concerned about long-term care disability and the resulting catastrophic needs, those items are not ranked at the top of the list. What most seniors don’t realize is that in order to achieve the three top goals listed above one generally needs to plan ahead. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be happening.

Currently, long-term care costs are running, on an average, about $6500 per month (The MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home & Assisted Living Costs, October, 2007). At that rate, most persons’ savings will be depleted in less than an average stay in a nursing home (2.5 years). Thus, an extended disability that requires long-term care is probably the most catastrophic event that could happen. It can make it impossible for a senior citizen to achieve the three goals mentioned above, destroying any hope for a secure future. For example, with the need for long-term care the older person: a) Loses independence b) Has experienced a loss of good health c) Uses up remaining assets and income. (more…)

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Persons faced with the possibility of a nursing home stay in the near future have in the past transferred a certain amount per month out of their name.   That was a legal possibility under the old law.  It is not under the new law.

Under the old law, the state set a monthly “divisor” amount.  This is based upon the average cost of one month in a nursing home and is currently about six thousand dollars ($6000).   Thus, for every $6000 a person transferred out of their name, the state would impose a one month penalty.  During that penalty period the person could not get Medicaid.  In Michigan, all fractions were dropped.  That meant that if anything less than 1 was transferred, there would be no penalty at all.  For example, if a person transferred $5400, that is .9  of the $6000 divisor.  Since the Michigan law said that all fractions should be dropped, there was no penalty.  If the person transferred $11,400, or $6000 x 1.9, the fraction would be rounded off to 1, and there would be only a one month penalty.  (more…)

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