Nursing home care and long-term care are extraordinarily expensive. The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports the average cost for a room in a licensed nursing home now runs in excess of $7,698 per month. Even part-time assisted living care can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year.
With such high potential costs, long-term care can quickly eat away at a person’s entire life savings and net worth. There are estate planning tools available. Specifically, Medicaid planning can help provide much needed asset protection. Here, our Cortland, OH estate planning attorney explains some key things you and your family should know about Medicaid planning.
Medicaid Has Strict Eligibility Requirements
In the United States, many individuals and families pay for some, or all, of their long-term care costs through Medicaid. This is one of the most important things you need to know about long-term care planning in Ohio — Medicare offers very little in the way of nursing home coverage/long-term care coverage. Instead, the public program providing support is Medicaid.
The distinction is important because Medicaid has very strict eligibility standards. If you have more than $2,000 in liquid asset, you may not qualify for coverage. While there are some exceptions — for example, much of the value of the primary residence is generally exempt from the Medicaid’s asset test for folks who are married — the limits are still low. Fortunately, there are some estate planning options that can be utilized to protect assets and maintain eligibility. Through advance Medicaid planning, you may be able to spare assets being eaten away by long-term care costs.
Asset Protection: Proper Long-Term Care Planning Starts Early
When it comes to long-term care planning and asset protection, it is imperative you get started as early as possible. By using trusts and other estate planning tools, elderly people may be able to protect and preserve assets from Medicaid and other long-term care costs, while also still retaining eligibility for these programs.
However, you need to be very careful when transferring property to family, friends, or trusts. Medicaid has a 60-month look-back period. Certain transactions can and will be reviewed if they occur during this period. Before making any transfers of assets or property, it is imperative you consult with an experienced Ohio Medicaid planning attorney. Your attorney will ensure everything is structured in the proper manner. The sooner you get started with Medicaid planning, the more asset protection options will be available.
Contact Our Cortland, OH Estate Planning Lawyer Today
At the Law Office of John C. Grundy, our Ohio estate planning attorney is a diligent, effective advocate for our clients. If you have any questions about Medicaid planning or long-term care planning in general, we can help. For a no cost, confidential consultation, please contact our law firm today. With an office in Cortland, we offer estate planning services throughout Northeast Ohio.