Ask the Estate Planning Attorney: Who Pays the Nursing Home Bill?

  • 31 January 2018
  • Author: IEP Team
  • 0 Comments
Ask the Estate Planning Attorney: Who Pays the Nursing Home Bill?

This is a question we field all the time: who pays for long-term care? It's tricky because each family and each situation is different. The key to paying for long-term care is to knowing your options and planning ahead. While you can't plan for every eventuality, you can make decisions that will help in the long run. 

You won't know if will you need assisted living or memory care, how long you can stay in your home, or how your health will be. But, you can write down your wishes and plan to have the resources you need regardless of what kind of care you have.

Medicare

While helpful for paying for healthcare, Medicare isn't designed to pay for long-term care. There's help available for short-term recovery stays, but not for nursing home or in-home care. You can't rely on Medicare for long-term care.

Medicaid

Medicaid is available to help those who qualify to pay for their long-term care, but the benefits are limited and qualification is income-based. That doesn't mean you can't keep your assets (like a home) and qualify for Medicaid, but it does take planning. With a plan in place and enough time, you can preserve a number of your assets and use Medicaid to pay for long-term care.

Long-term care insurance

This is an option for some people, but the expense can be prohibitive. By the time you need it or want to purchase, premiums can be so high it's not worth it. But, it's worth mentioning here and may be an option for you or your loved one.

VA benefits

The VA Pension benefit or Aid & Attendance is a little-known benefit that can be used by some Vets to pay for long-term care. We've talked a lot about it here on the blog, so feel free to read up if you think your loved one may qualify.

There are other ways to pay for long-term care, including reverse mortgages, relocation, and more. But the key to any option, and to keeping options open, is to plan ahead. We can't avoid aging or control our health past a certain point, that's just reality. So avoiding any planning or thinking about the future is just setting yourself and your loved ones up for making hard decisions with limited options.

Contact our office today. No matter your age or health, we can help you understand your options, make decisions, and take action that will ensure you can pay for care without being a burden. 

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