Individuals who need long term care can preserve and protect their assets through the process of Medicaid planning by working with a Medicaid and Long-Term Care Planning Attorney. Considering that nearly one in two women and one in four men will require long-term care during their lifetimes, and that long-term care expenses can cost upwards of $200,000 annually, taking steps to protect assets from these expenses can provide immense emotional and financial relief. But when it comes to Medicaid planning, you can’t wait until the last minute.
Protect Your Assets & Preserve Your Options for Long-Term Care
The term long-term care refers to care provided in a skilled nursing facility, adult family home, assisted living, and in-home care. In addition to protecting your assets from being depleted by long-term care costs, preserving your estate through Medicaid planning provides you with some choice in where you reside if long-term care becomes necessary. Whether that is in a facility of your choice or in your own home, Medicaid planning prevents you from being pigeon-holed into choosing between one or two facilities that may very well be below your standards.
In essence, preserving part of your estate through Medicaid planning can dramatically improve your quality of life as you age.
Many people attempt to liquidate or spend down their assets in an effort to protect them from long-term care costs, but Medicaid will be your only option for long-term care coverage if you become broke. Since many facilities don’t accept Medicaid, or require a private pay wait period, this is a poor option for protecting your assets and well-being as you grow older.
A Medicaid lawyer can work with you to develop a strategy for asset preservation while simultaneously allowing you to obtain government benefits without the need to go broke. Some of these strategies may include:
- Complex trust drafting
- Medicaid compliant annuity
- Transfer of assets
What is Medicaid and Medicaid Planning in Idaho?
The cost of long-term care has risen significantly in the past decade and will continue to rise. According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey in 2019, the average cost of an assisted living facility in Coeur d’Alene is estimated to be around $3,800/month , and a nursing home costs can be closer to $10,000.00/month.
One way to pay for this cost is Medicaid. Medicaid is a social health program for low-income individuals. Since the cost of care continues to rise, many people find themselves depleting resources to pay for care. The problem is they will soon become impoverished With the right planning (including estate planning, wills and trusts, and special needs planning, etc.), our office can assist seniors in obtaining this benefit while preserving their assets.
There are two types of planning opportunities when qualifying for Medicaid: Pre-Planning and Crisis Planning.
Medicaid has a five year look back period, so it is important that you take the steps necessary to preserve your assets, even if you are perfectly healthy, as soon as possible. If you are thinking about preparing for the possibility of needing long-term care in the future, you should contact an attorney to advise you and guide you through the process. Not consulting an attorney exposes you to misinformation that could lead you to do something that could disqualify you from Medicaid altogether.
Our office can assist you in reviewing your assets and income and creating a long-term care plan that utilizes legal and ethical strategies to preserve your assets and get you qualified for Medicaid.
If you find yourself or your aging parent in need of long-term care immediately, than your case would be considered a ‘crisis case’. This means there are certain strategies that cannot be used because the benefit will be needed sooner than the five-year lookback period. It is important to consult an attorney immediately because there are still many strategies that can be implemented to qualify you for Medicaid without going broke. Even if you don’t have the five years to pre-plan, we can still help preserve some of your assets and qualify you for Medicaid.
Our office can evaluate your situation and make the correct recommendations to get you qualified sooner rather than later and guide you step by step through the whole process.
Should I Hire an Attorney For Long Term Care Planning?
Long term care planning is an extremely complex process that can be overwhelming. You want a team backing you up and helping with all of the strategies and planning. Our long term care planning attorneys will ensure that the correct planning is put in place so that you are qualified as soon as possible for the benefit programs. Typically time is of the essence and if you have an attorney you can expedite the process. Every month that there is a delay in qualifying for Medicaid or Aid and Attendance is potentially a lot of money out of your pocket. Medicaid rules can change every three months and the VA has made the Aid and Attendance process so complex that many applications are denied, and often denied without cause.
- Plan for your parent’s future.
- Get qualified for Medicaid.
- Learn how to pay for long term care without going broke.
- Find a facility that is safe and comfortable.
- Find a facility that you want to be in, not one that you are forced into because of lack of choice.
- Your loved one needs to be moved into a facility and you are afraid they are going to lose everything.
If you have an attorney who is familiar and skilled in Medicaid and VA Benefits you can avoid unnecessary delays and potentially save many thousands of dollars.
Why Should You Hire a Coeur d’Alene Medicaid Lawyer at Evergreen Elder Law?
In a culture that often brushes seniors aside, we have a team of attorneys, paralegals, and administrative assistants to help. Our team is devoted entirely to the complexities of long-term care planning and keeping up with the frequent changes in rules.
Our office takes a holistic and hands-on approach to planning. We help seniors and their families with all of their needs. We are not just doing a will or an estate plan, we are looking at all of the issues seniors face. What sets us apart is that we take a team approach. Everyone in our office is passionate about helping seniors and we have a unique perspective and appreciation for the difficulties of the process of getting old and dying.
Past Long Term Planning Client Case Studies
A mother and daughter came to our office. Mother was a senior with need for assistance with activities of daily living. The daughter was providing extensive home care for the mother so that she could reside in her home as long as possible. When they came to our office the daughter said to us, “I can’t afford it anymore, I can’t take care of my mom.” ” I need to go get a job.”
The mother was the surviving spouse of a veteran. We were able to get this family the resources they deserved. We put together a ‘personal care contract’ and applied for the Veterans benefit. The ‘personal care contract’ was for the daughter to officially provide in-home care for the mother. We applied for the VA benefit for the mother and we were able to get cash for her as a surviving spouse of a veteran. She now receives the benefit every month tax free and is able to use it to pay her daughter for providing care. This was a huge success for the family and accomplished all of their goals. It was their shared goal to keep the mother in the home for as long as possible. Now the daughter is able to afford to continue providing in-home care and the mother is able to stay at home.
Another recent client qualified for the Aid and Attendance Benefit of approx. $2200 per month. Because they did not have an accredited attorney, they had been denied four times over the past four years. As a result, they had missed out on four years of benefits (approx. $105,600). They were getting information from a non-VA accredited attorney who was not trained or updated on the VA rules. As a result, they were inappropriately denied.
We were able to get them approved in less than three weeks.
They had submitted applications that they thought would be approved but were denied because they did not have the necessary knowledge and were not getting correct information from an accredited attorney. If they had sought an attorney early they would not have missed out on these benefits for the past four years.
Unfortunately, they lost out on over $100.000 but they were so happy that we were able to help.
Frequently Asked Questions Medicaid and Long Term Planning in Coeur d’Alene, ID
Should I Hire an Attorney For Long-Term Care Planning?
Long-term care planning is a complex process that involves sophisticated strategies for protecting and/or transferring assets so that you can obtain quality long-term care if necessary. Without a deep understanding of long-term care, Medicaid, and complex estate planning, it is very complicated to create an effective plan. It is recommended to utilize the help of an experienced Medicaid planning attorney.
Who Qualifies for Medicaid?
Anyone with low to no-income may qualify for Medicaid based on their family size. In Idaho, there are multiple Medicaid long-term care programs for seniors, each with different financial and medical requirements, and benefits. These requirements and benefits vary based on marital status, income, and disability.
How Do You Prepare For Long-Term Care?
The best advice when it comes to preparing for long-term care is to do it before you need it. Whether you choose to reside in a facility or opt for in-home care, expenses associated with long-term care can quickly deplete a person’s assets. With proper long-term care planning, however, you can protect and preserve many of your assets and ensure access to quality care when you need it in the future. But you can’t wait until the last minute; the Medicaid look-back period is 60 months, meaning assets transferred more recently than five years ago may disqualify you from coverage. A long-term care attorney can help.
Why Do I Need an Attorney for Long-Term Care Planning?
Planning for long-term care can be tremendously complicated. Having Evergreen Elder Law in your corner will help you understand the process and ensure you and your assets are protected. We can help you qualify for Medicaid without going broke.
What Makes Evergreen Elder Law Different Than Other Attorneys?
Long-term care planning is complex, and the laws are often changing. The attorneys, paralegals, and administrative assistants at Evergreen Elder Law dedicate themselves to staying up-to-date on the changes.
Get the Medicaid Benefits You Deserve Today
There are four ways to pay for long-term care:
We specialize in the two government programs that are available to help pay for long term care, Medicaid and the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit. For both, there is an asset or resource requirement, an income requirement, and a medical need requirement. You have to meet all three, and that is where we come in.
For someone that is over resourced or over income, know what your options are before you start to liquidate assets. Know that you have choices, you can strategize, but the planning is very complex. There are complex rules even with gifting that you need to know about. The laws are changing all the time, in fact the laws can change every quarter.
Further Questions About Long Term Care Planning In Northern Idaho?
We know long term planning can feel overwhelming. But estate planning is not only for the wealthy – we help people from all walks of life to ensure their assets and finances are properly managed after their death. We offer free consultations online, over the phone, or in our convenient office located in Spokane.
If you have more questions about long term care planning or Medicaid, but aren’t quite ready for a consultation, you can also choose to sign up for our free ‘Asset Protection Strategies’ webinar. To learn more, please visit our ‘Free Webinar Recordings’ page.
Contact a Coeur d’Alene Medicaid & Long Term Planning Lawyer Today
If you would like to learn more about Medicaid and long-term care planning options, the skilled legal team at Evergreen Elder Law can help. Let our experienced Coeur d’Alene Medicaid lawyers guide you through this process with ease. Contact us today for a confidential consultation about your case.