Oct 25, 2013
The “Elder Care Journey” is a continuum of possible care needs that get more intense as the journey progresses. Typically, the journey progresses as follows:
It is at this stage in the journey that these issues – and the corresponding medications that are prescribed – will most likely be covered from a cost standpoint either by Medicare (which covers acute care) or private insurance. Although the senior may be responsible for paying an insurance deductible, these costs are often capped at an annual rate so the senior can plan and anticipate their healthcare financial responsibilities. In addition, those who are covered by Medicare may also have a Medicare supplemental insurance policy that covers many of the co-payments and deductibles that Medicare does not cover.
It is now that the senior and their family may begin to realize that regular health insurance, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, are not constructed to pay for these types of care costs. In fact, it is often only personal assets or long-term care insurance that will cover these types of expenses. And, unless the senior is suffering from a very serious condition, the situation could go on for years.
Here again, these costs are not covered by Medicare or regular health insurance policies. Payment for this type of care requires paying out-of-pocket or using long-term care insurance. (In Illinois, we do have “supportive living facilities” that take Medicaid, but you must meet the financial requirements and pass a screening that shows you require a certain level of care. All “assisted” living facilities are not “supportive” living facilities; and therefore, Medicaid is not an option in the traditional independent or assisted living facility.)
With an average monthly cost of $3,000 to $6,000 and an average length of need of two and a half to three years, the annual cost for an assisted living facility is $36,000 to $72,000 per year. Here again, the potential to quickly deplete personal assets is high without some form of pre-planning for this need.
The average monthly cost of care in a skilled nursing home facility is $4,000 to $9,000, with an average length of stay two to five years, with the only real option for payment coverage being out-of-pocket, Medicaid (which only applies if the senior is considered to be at the state’s poverty level) or a long-term care insurance policy.
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Rick L. Law, Attorney and Estate Planner for Retirees
Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!
My wife and I had our first child three years ago. That’s when we decided to set up a trust, should anything happen to either of us. We reached out to Zach Hesselbaum to help us out. He was very thorough and professional throughout the whole process. Zach went above and beyond to make sure that we understood every detail of setting it up and he did an excellent job. We recently had our second child a few months ago. With the new baby, he helped us make the necessary revisions to the trust. Zach made this process great for us! I would definitely recommend using him for any of your estate planning needs!
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