Hearing a doctor say that your loved one needs skilled nursing care, 24/7, can be a real shock. Chances are, you have not given much thought to planning for long-term care. If you have just learned that your dad or mom needs 24/7 care – or think this may happen in the future – continue reading to learn more about what you can do to help.
The Realities of 24/7 Care
If your mom needs 24/7 care, you are not alone. In fact, the following statistics tell an interesting story about long-term care:
- 52% of people age 65 right now will need long-term care at some point.
- 47% of men and 58% of women age 65 or older face long-term care.
Some people will need skilled nursing care for years. The cost of 24/7 care can be staggering. In Alabama, the monthly costs for long-term care in 2018 were:
- $3,241 for homemaker services or a home health aide
- $3,271 for an assisted living facility
- $6,279 for a semi-private room in a nursing facility
- $6,661 for a private room in a nursing facility
What can you do to help someone who needs 24/7 care?
Applying for Medicaid
Once you find a good nursing home, you need to figure out how to pay for it. This can be tricky. There are basically three ways to pay for long-term care: self-pay, long-term care insurance, and Medicaid.
You may need the Medicaid money now but don’t know how to get it or even if you will be eligible.
Medicaid offers a number of programs to provide medical care for people with limited assets and resources. To qualify, the application will need to meet certain asset and resource tests. For example, someone who needs 24/7 care must not earn more than $2,250 per month or have more than $2,000 in resources.
Applying for Medicaid can be frustrating and time consuming, in part because of the amount of supporting documentation. In addition, Medicaid case workers will review the applicant’s finances for a 60-month period prior to the application date. Certain transactions made during that time may disqualify the applicant from or delay benefits.
Medicaid Is Complicated. We Can Help.
It’s possible – and highly recommended – to plan ahead for incapacity and long-term care. Estate
planning can help, especially if Medicaid planning is included.
For a free consultation with an experienced Alabama estate planning attorney, contact Bill Miller
at 256-472-1900. Miller Estate and Elder Law is now located at 818 Leighton Avenue in
Anniston, but we serve clients in Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding