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Elderly Long-Term Care: Facing Financial Ruin as Costs Soar for Elders

Elderly Long-Term Care: Facing Financial Ruin as Costs Soar for Elders

Unfortunately, there is no seamless system for elderly long-term care in the United States. That means aging individuals must find independent care solutions. According to a recent study by the New York Times, most older adults face financial struggles paying for long-term care. Some caregivers max out credit cards and take out loans to help pay for long-term care costs. There are harrowing stories of families and caregivers going to drastic measures to force Medicaid coverage and other systems to act. Many adults are caught in the middle, caring for aging parents and young children. Speaking to our South Florida Medicaid Planning Attorneys can provide advice and strategies for paying for long-term care that help alleviate this stress. 

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The Boomer Generation is Struggling

The Baby Boomer generation put a lot of weight on their 401Ks and pension plans for long-term care. As they enter retirement age, those accounts may become insufficient. According to the New York Times study, dying broke and homeless is becoming a reality for many boomers. From now until 2030, an estimated 10,000 individuals are turning 65 and entering retirement. They are expected to live well into their 80s and 90s. Inflation has led to a substantial increase in long-term care. Federal researchers say the cost of long-term care is now in the half trillion dollars annually. The struggles will only continue to grow. 

In addition to the rising costs, insurers are ill-prepared for the care our aging population needs, leading to fewer coverage options. A labor shortage also leaves families fighting to get in-home care workers. An alternative is assisted living facilities, which are often challenging to get into or unaffordable for most families. For the government to pay for assisted living, the person typically has to have to run out of money. 

Survey data shows that eight million people over 65 struggle with accomplishing daily tasks independently. Of those eight million, three million have no assistance options. Often, assistance falls on spouses, friends, children and grandchildren. Many of these struggles are due to the lack of importance the United States government places on elder care. Individuals who work with South Florida Medicaid Planning Attorneys to plan for their long-term care while protecting their assets have additional options to pay for long-term care and protect their families from debt. 

Elderly Long-Term Care Options

One option aging individuals have is Medicare, a federal health insurance program. Those who are over 65 qualify for this program, and it covers the following:

  • Medical care costs¬†
  • Home aide¬†
  • Short-term nursing home stays after surgery¬†
  • Short-term rehabilitation.¬†

As you can see, this program focuses on short-term care with few options for long-term care. Another option available is Medicaid. This is another federal program that is intended to cover long-term care if their assets are depleted. Often, this means selling assets such as their home to meet the requirements:

  • Meet retirement income typically under $50 a month¬†
  • Spouses can hold some income and assets¬†

The Financial Burdens of Caring for Aging Parents

The financial burdens of caring for aging parents has led to children and grandchildren taking on more financial responsibility to compensate for this income disparity. Depending on the state laws, this could involve children paying rent to their parents to use that towards their care on top of their other expenses. In some instances, when the person dies, the surviving children have to pay Medicaid back. 

Medicaid costs can lead to more than $100,000 annually for nursing homes that provide round-the-clock care. This is an exuberant amount; most average families cannot afford these costs. The alternative is making the elderly person so poor and broke that they qualify for government assistance. These options are less than ideal. 

What is Medicaid Planning?

Individuals who have the right advice and benefits have some options. Conversely, other individuals who did not have these options can find these situations extremely challenging. When you consult with our South Florida Medicaid Planning Attorneys, we will review your circumstances and ask questions to create a plan that covers your needs. We will discuss issues such as:

  • Can you afford the costs of a semi-private room in a Florida nursing home?¬†
    • A typical room costs about $12,000 a month. The answer for most of our clients is no. Those who have substantial estates will see it dwindle pretty quickly. This is one of several options, however. Medicaid planning can help alleviate this stress.¬†
  • Does Medicaid pay for nursing home assistance?
    • This is a complicated answer since it can depend on individual circumstances. They can help pay for a nursing home stay if you meet specific qualifications. You can get a denial if you don’t meet even one recruitment. Medicaid will review:
      • Income sources¬†
      • Assets you own¬†
      • Other benefits available to you
      • If you have given away any assets¬†

Legal Medicaid Planning Tools and Options

There are alternatives to spending and giving away everything you own to qualify for Medicaid benefits. You may be able to keep some of your assets. There are legal tools and options our South Florida Medicaid Planning Attorneys can review that can help you, such as:

  • Spend down: paying expenses or spending excess assets.¬†¬†
  • Medicaid asset protection trusts are irrevocable trusts that protect your assets from counting during the Medicaid review process. The caveat is you must establish this before you apply for Medicaid.¬†¬†
  • Lady Bird deeds allow the Medicaid applicant or receipt to maintain property ownership with the caveat that it transfers to the named beneficiary upon their passing. The transfer process is automatic.¬†
  • Irrevocable funeral trusts are accounts that cannot be altered or changed once established. They can help with funeral expenses in advance and may not count toward the Medicaid process.¬†¬†
  • Spousal transfers involve transferring the Medicaid applicants’ assets to their spouses as long as they are outside the care facility.¬†
  • Qualified income trusts allow you to move any income over the limit into this trust and can help pay medical bills and care.¬†

Caught in the Middle - Siegel Law Group

 

“A skilled Elder Law Attorney can help your loved one structure their assets in a way that shields them from the potentially ruinous costs of nursing homes. Options like creating a Medicaid-compliant annuit, an irrevocable trust or a life estate can protect their money and property while ensuring they still have access to the care they need.”

   РSouth Florida Medicaid Planning Attorney Barry Siegel 

 

Our attorneys are passionate about elder care and planning. Attorney Barry Siegel wrote a book to help adult children who are struggling to care for aging parents while raising a family. Caught In The Middle: Juggling Your Elderly Parents’ Affairs While Raising Your Own Family by Boca Raton Estate and Medicaid Planning Attorney Barry Siegel is an important start to helping your elderly loved one age with dignity.¬†


Learn More About Medicaid Planning: Elder Law & Medicaid FAQs

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Call THE South Florida Medicaid Planning Attorneys – The Siegel Law Group

Medicaid Planning is essential as you age to pay for your expenses and medical care. You will have several options when you work with South Florida Medicaid Planning Attorneys.

Call our office at (561) 576-6206 to schedule a complimentary consultation or submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

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