As inflation continues to rise, the cost of long-term medical care is also increasing. It is more expensive than ever to hire home health aides, or pay for a stay in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Too many Brandon, Mississippi area families are being forced to make very difficult decisions about the care of their loved ones because of these rising costs.
This is a trend that will unfortunately continue for the next several years as the healthcare industry recovers from the stress of the pandemic, healthcare workers leave their jobs or demand much higher pay, and insurance companies and employers look for ways to cut their costs.
At Palmer & Slay, we are working with our clients to help them plan for future long-term care expenses. This typically means crafting an estate plan that will allow our clients to tap into Medicaid benefits.
Long-Term Care Planning Typically Means Planning For Medicaid
Medicaid is a federal program administered by each state. It was created to help meet the needs of people who are unable to afford the healthcare they require. Although policymakers intended it to be “the payer of last resort” when it comes to long-term care, Medicaid pays for about half of the country’s total nursing home costs.
Medicaid is a need-based program that has strict caps on the amount of money a person who receives it can earn or have tied up in other assets. Many families are initially turned down or discouraged from applying for Medicaid benefits even though they cannot afford the long-term care they need any other way.
The Palmer & Slay team helps Brandon, MS area families rearrange their finances so they can get the help they need from the Medicaid system. Through the use of trusts and other legal tools many assets can be protected or passed down to the next generation without impacting one’s Medicaid eligibility. However, timing is everything in these cases. When you apply for benefits, the government can look back at your last five years of spending to gauge whether you could afford to pay for your own care had you made different choices.
The government can also seek to recover expenses it paid on your behalf from your estate after you have passed away. Mississippi’s Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) is particularly aggressive, often forcing families to sell off family homes and other assets previously owned by their loved one. This can be avoided with proper planning.
Preserving Your Wealth. Protecting Your Loved Ones.
While there is a cost to working with the Palmer & Slay team to craft and implement a plan that will help you or your loved one secure Medicaid benefits, just one month in a nursing home is typically more expensive. Paying a little bit now so you can save more in the long run is well worth it.
If you have questions about securing Medicaid benefits for yourself or a loved one, Palmer & Slay’s experienced team of Medicaid planning attorneys is here for you. Please contact us today to schedule a meeting.