Elder Law

Even though Long Term Care Insurance has been available for quite some time, many people find it too expensive to buy.  Others may not qualify for coverage because of illness or medical conditions.  Even those with Long Term Care Insurance may find that their benefits may not cover the skyrocketing costs of nursing home care.

If you have not planned ahead and do not have any or sufficient Long Term Care Insurance, you will have to pay for nursing home care out of your savings and investments.  Currently, the monthly cost of nursing home care nears $11,000.00.  Obviously, you can deplete a lifetime of savings in a short amount of time.

Once you run out of savings and investments, Medicaid will take over responsibility for your care costs.  However, there are also some planning moves that you can make that will result in Medicaid paying for your care earlier, so that more of your money is saved for your family.

Under current Medicaid rules, the Department of Social Services (DSS) will look at all of your financial records for the 5 years prior to the date of your Medicaid Application.  This is called the “look-back” period.  During this time, any large gifts (over $2,000.00) will make you ineligible for Medicaid.  

If, however, you made certain gifts or transfers more than 5 years before your Medicaid Application, those gifts or transfers may be exempt from DSS scrutiny and may not be recovered by DSS for your care.  Even at the last minute when your loved one is in or near entering the nursing home, we may be able to help.

As you can imagine, this is an ever-changing complex area of the law.  In order to assist our clients in preparing for the possibility of nursing home care, we engage in a detailed review of their assets, income and projected needs.  We look to optimize “exempt” assets and income, and provide guidance for prudent planning.  With this kind of review, we can provide recommendations that will help you plan for your long-term care needs. 

For over 30 years, Nancy Saia has assisted clients in this very complex area of the law. She is ready to help you or your parents make a plan for your future.

Some resources you may find helpful: