There are more than 10 million Americans receiving long term care these days. Close to 38 percent are under the age of 65 with the vast majority of the remaining millions being over the age of 65. According to a new survey, it’s believed 70 percent of us will need some type of long care assistance before we die. Now’s the time to consider all of the legal, family, social and financial considerations of what long term care might mean for your family.
Long Term Care in Londonderry New Hampshire
Long term care is simply a wide range of services and supports you may need to meet your personal care need in your life. Interestingly, most long term care is not considered medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called Activities of Daily Living. Those might include bathing, dressing, moving from one room to another, preparing meals and many other daily tasks most of us take for granted.
Other long term care specifics are known as Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, or IADLs. They might include shopping, overseeing the budget in a home, preparing meals, caring for pets, housekeeping and other roles that are a bit more involved that just the activities of daily living.
Medicaid and Medicare
When it comes to Medicaid and Medicare, there are even more misconceptions. These programs may only pay for long term care if you require rehabilitative or more advanced care. Medicare will only cover 100 days in a nursing home – and the average is just 22 days. You can receive care in the home only if there are other “skilled” care needs that co-exists and often, Medicare will cut those days you qualify significantly. If Medicare doesn’t cover any of those costs and you don’t have a secondary source, such as private insurance, those costs will come out of your pocket.
Now, Medicaid does pay for more long term services. The approval guidelines are a bit complicated, though. You’ll have to spend down your assets if they’re too high and there are many compliance requirements that vary from one state to another. One “across the board” rule is the 5 year look back, which means if you’ve given all of your assets away and if it’s believed you did so with the goal of reclaiming them, you could be penalized. Your elder care lawyer can provide guidance for your specific laws.
It could be you qualify for other federal programs, including Veterans Affairs. These too have very specific guidelines for approvals. There are co-pays, premiums and specific rules that you must factor.
If you don’t have private insurance, there are options perhaps with your life insurance policies, annuities you own, and more. Reverse mortgages have been a popular go-to source for millions of seniors; however, they have risks that must be taken into consideration. They’re not always the cure-all many believe, either.
Each of us present with our specific needs and resources, even if they’re limited. Sometimes, Medicaid declines coverage, at which point, you’ll want to meet with your elder care attorney to explore the options for filing an appeal. Be sure to go into your meeting with any questions you might want answered. Also, understand that these appeals can be time consuming with no quick turnaround on the answers. There are no stupid questions, so ask away. Finally, be sure you feel comfortable with the estate planning lawyer you’ve chosen to share this legal journey.
Long term care planning in Londonderry New Hampshire is tedious work, but when it’s done properly, it can reap benefits for the rest of your life.