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Paying for Long-Term Care

Paying for Long-Term Care by James Leonick

When it comes to long-term care expenses, there are three different ways to pay for it.

Paying for these vital services is a challenge for most families. In this post, I would like to talk about three different ways to accomplish just that.

Out of Pocket

The first would be a payment out of pocket. In New York, the daily cost of nursing home care ranges from $400 to $600 a day. Home health care aides cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000 per month depending upon how many hours and days per week they’re needed.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is another way to provide for long-term care expenses, but you have to have purchased this in advance. Typically, there is a daily benefit amount that can range anywhere from $200 to $500 or $600 per day. The daily benefit amount that you choose and the elimination period (the initial period of time before the benefit starts) will determine the premium, along with the health risk analysis that will be performed by the insurance company.

Medicaid

Medicaid is a federal program that we all pay into. It’s part of the Social Security system, and if you can show that your available resources are currently below $14,850, and you have no assets in your name and no assets that have been transferred out of your name in the recent past, then you can qualify for long-term care through Medicaid.

In New York State, if you need care at home, you can qualify for Community Medicaid, even if you are currently making asset transfers. In addition to reviewing your financial information, New York State will assign an independent agency to evaluate your ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL).

As we age certain tasks, like opening child-proof bottles, get more difficult. When disability becomes so great that we can no longer perform the basic activities of daily living (ADL), long-term care is needed. ADLs include: 

  • Getting dressed in the morning;
  • Cooking meals;
  • Getting washed;
  • Cleaning the living space; and
  • Transitioning from bed to walker or wheelchair.

Take Away

Long-Term Care analysis involves reviewing assets, long-term care costs, and determining whether you want to spend down your assets for long-term care costs, or you want to preserve your assets in order to leave a legacy for your family.

Planning for your future is a complex undertaking that requires considering the possibility that you or your spouse may need long-term care. It is important to review these issues with an experienced elder law attorney. To schedule a free consultation, contact me.

James F. Leonick
Leonick Law, P.L.L.C.
TEL: (631) 486-9500
Email: info@LeonickLaw.com

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