70% of adults over the age of 65 will likely spend some time in a nursing home or need some other form of long-term care in their lifetime. Admission to one of these facilities is often preceded by an accident or illness, which means you may not have the time or energy to figure out the most efficient way to pay for a nursing home stay when the need arises. At Palmer & Slay, we work with clients in the Brandon, Mississippi area who want to proactively plan for the cost of long-term care without sacrificing their quality of life to pay for it.
The Cost Of Care Is Rising
The high cost of long-term care is shocking. Genworth, one of the leading providers of long-term care insurance, estimates that someone living in Mississippi should expect to pay $7,118 per month for a semi-private room in a nursing home. That’s over $85,000 per year.
In-home care costs are around $3,813 a month, based on 44 hours per week of care. Adult daycare (8 hours a day, 5 days a week) could cost up to $1,408 a month. Assisted living facilities could cost $3,500 or more per month.
Without proper planning, all but the wealthiest families will see their savings disappear trying to cover these costs. Especially since these costs are only expected to rise as time goes on.
Medicare Does Not Cover Long-Term Care
Many Mississippi residents expect that Medicare will pay for long-term care, but that is only partially true.
If Medicare will pay for long-term care at all, it will typically only pay the full cost for a few days. It may then pay part of the cost for up to 100 days, while you make a co-payment. After 100 days, you are on your own.
If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may not even have these limited benefits.
Palmer & Slay’s Medicaid Planning Team Can Help You Prepare For The Future
Although policymakers intended Medicaid to be “the payer of last resort” when it comes to long-term care, the tax-payer-funded program is now the single largest payer of nursing home bills in America.
While Medicaid eligibility was not overly restrictive in the past, there has been a steady drift towards more complex and limiting rules. These changes have resulted in complex eligibility requirements for those in need of Medicaid benefits. 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. This involves planning around an ever-changing web of rules governing look-back periods, income caps, transfer penalties and waiting periods.
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 ones who relied on Medicaid to cover the cost of long-term care.
With proper planning involving the use of trusts and other legal tools, many assets can be protected or passed down to the next generation without impacting your Medicaid eligibility.
Estate Planning For The Liquidity Needed To Pay Out-Of-Pocket For Long-Term Care
If you do intend to pay for long-term care out of pocket, Palmer & Slay’s experienced team of estate planning professionals can help you arrange your assets so you have the liquidity necessary to do so.
We have worked with clients to set up trusts, annuities, reverse mortgages, and other funding mechanisms that give them the cash they need to pay for nursing home care outright or cover the cost of long-term care insurance premiums.
Preserving Your Wealth. Protecting Your Loved Ones.
Covering the cost of long-term care is one of the biggest concerns people have when they start the estate planning process. The Palmer & Slay team tries to put those fears to rest by laying out your options and helping you find a way to secure the care you deserve. Please contact us today to set up a meeting.