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How To Pay For Long-Term Care

When an elderly loved one is beginning to require regular healthcare, whether it’s at home, an assisted living center, or a nursing home, coming up with the finances for the care is often more overwhelming than having to come to terms with a loved one who is aging. It’s an unfortunate fact that long-term healthcare for seniors is a significant expense, and paying for it can be an immense challenge, especially if there is no way to tell how long the care will be needed.

At Goldberg & Associates, we are passionate about helping seniors and their families find a method for paying for long-term care. There are several options available, even when it may seem like nothing is working at the time. When you work with one of our estate planning attorneys, we will look at your overall financial situation, the assets that you have in your estate, as well as what insurance you have. Regardless of your financials, we are confident that we can help you find a way to get your loved one the healthcare they need.

Financial Options For Long-Term Healthcare

When it comes to financing long-term healthcare, it’s important to not simply assume that an option isn’t available, won’t work for you, or you won’t qualify for it. It can seem daunting trying to sort through your options, application processes, and more, but it could prevent you from paying thousands of dollars out of your own pocket. If you have questions, an estate planning attorney can help.

Cash/Private Pay

This is often a last resort for families, but wealthier households may be able to pay for healthcare directly out of pocket. Depending on their needs, this can range from $30,000 to $150,000 a year. For this to be a realistic option, you will need to have significant savings, a well-funded 401(k), or a pension from a previous employer may be enough. However, even wealthy families can find it difficult to pay these amounts year after year.

If finances aren’t directly available in a savings account, you may want to consider a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage is an FHA program to access the equity from their home that has built up over the years. There are some requirements that need to be met for this to be an option and there can be some drawbacks for when you pass or want to sell the house.

Check to See if Long-Term Care Insurance Is Available

Paying for long-term care insurance may seem out of range, but oftentimes, the earlier you purchase a plan, the better the rates. It is important, however, to research providers and the plans/policies they’re offering. Certain policies may be overly expensive because the provider is assuming that the senior will need more care in the future than they actually will. There are policies on the market that can provide pricing that will be more stable in the long term.

Start a Health Savings Account (HSA) – And Start it Early

An HSA is a type of health savings account that can be incredibly valuable when used to its highest potential. Money put into the account is not subject to federal income tax at the time of deposit and can be used for qualifying medical expenses, including long-term care and long-term care insurance premiums. It’s essential, however, to start paying into this type of account as early as possible so the funds have time to accumulate. There are annual maximum contributions, but those who are 55 years or older are eligible to contribute an additional $1,000 to their account.

VA Benefits

If you’re a Veteran or the spouse of a Veteran, there are certain Veterans benefits available to you. You will need to apply for a Veteran’s Affairs pension, and if you’re approved, it can provide around $1,000 to $2,000 per month depending on various factors. VA benefits may also cover 24/7 nursing and medical care, physical therapy, comfort care, home care, nursing homes, assisted-living centers, private care, and more. To learn more about applying for a VA pension, get in touch with our estate planning attorneys.

Medicare/Medicaid

For those needing healthcare after a surgery or an accident, Medicare will pay for costs within the first 100 days, but after that Medicare benefits stop. After Medicare, you can apply for Medicaid, which is a longer-term government- and -state-funded service that assists low-income adults and people with disabilities. This option can be used when all other personal finances have been used. The benefits vary by state but can provide around $2,000 a month.

Trusts

If personal finances have been used and your income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, another option is to create a trust, also known as a Medicaid protection trust. The trust is created so that your assets can be transferred into it; this gives the impression that your income is lower, allowing you to qualify for Medicaid. Assets such as retirement accounts, personal belongings, some types of life insurance policies, and even a home under the right conditions can be added to the trust.

The Estate Planning Attorneys at Goldberg & Associates Can Help

If you’re worried about how to pay for long-term healthcare when you or a loved one gets older, there are various options available to ensure you get the care you need. At Goldberg & Associates, our attorneys will work closely with you to determine the best course of action based on your healthcare needs and financial situation. We care deeply about helping clients feel safe and protected about their future.

Our elder law firm has three locations in Georgia, including Peachtree City, Griffin, and Atlanta. Wherever you are and whatever your needs, you can trust that we’ll work hard to get you the service you need. Call our team today to schedule an appointment.

At Goldberg & Associates, we specialize in handling elder law and elder law cases. All of our resources are at your fingertips when you work with Goldberg & Associates. We will do everything in our power to ensure the maximum amount that can be saved, will be saved for your retirement. No stone goes unturned at Goldberg & Associates; we are prepared to make sure you do everything you need to in order to max out those savings options, and make way for the time when you will get to retire.