Making The Complex

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Nursing home planning: Start early for the most options

As you age, one thing that might come to mind is the potential for needing nursing home care later in life. Nursing home care is expensive and has the potential to drain your assets if you don’t plan accordingly.

Fortunately, there are several ways to pay for nursing home care. These include using long-term care insurance and your own personal resources. Medicaid is another option to consider.

Using Medicaid

Medicaid is reserved for those who have limited resources. Usually, health care costs are completely covered if you have Medicare and Medicaid. As far as nursing homes go, most do accept Medicaid. Not all do, though, so it’s worth discussing the possibility of Medicaid with the nursing home of your choice prior to selecting it. Also, an attorney with experience in estate planning — and particularly Medicaid planning — can help you customize a strategy that fits your specific situation.

Using your assets

In most cases, people prefer to avoid using their own assets to pay for nursing care. Nursing home care costs thousands monthly, so it quickly drains your personal savings. Sometimes, life insurance works and can be used to pay for your long-term care, but it’s a good idea to learn more about your policy before relying on it.

Using long-term care insurance

Finally, long-term care insurance makes it easier to afford care without Medicaid or Medicare. Policies vary, so you need to make sure you have a policy that covers nursing home care. Some policies cover additional needs such as adult day care or medical equipment, which you may also need in the future. Some individuals are unable to get this coverage or may have to pay more because of pre-existing conditions, which is a drawback of long-term care insurance.

Planning for your needs now helps you make sure you protect your assets while still obtaining the nursing home care you may need in the future. A good plan takes all possible situations into account.


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