Elder Law (and Special Needs Law) is the intersection of estate planning and long term care planning. Long term-care, also called “custodial care”, is a range of services and supports many people need to meet their personal care needs. It is not uncommon for people to need assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life as they age (or if they are disabled). In fact, research shows that 52% of people turning the age of 65 in the U.S. will need long-term care services and supports. In long-term care parlance, the personal tasks of everyday life are broken down into five “activities of daily living”, or “ADLs” for short, which include:
3. using the toilet
4. transferring to/from a bed or chair; and
Who pays for long term care?
Long-term care is not medical care and is rarely covered by your health insurance. It’s unusual for health insurance to cover the cost of home care aides, a stay in an assisted living community, or nursing home care. When health insurance does cover such costs, it’s for a very short period of time.
Contrary to popular belief, Medicare does not pay for long-term care/custodial care. Medicare will pay for inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility, but only for a very short period of time.
Medicaid, on the other hand, does pay for long-term care. Medicaid is government long-term care insurance. However, qualifying and enrolling in the long-term care Medicaid program is a very complex process which should only be approached with the assistance of an experienced elder law and special needs attorney.
You can also pay for long-term care services and supports on your own, which is called private pay or out-of-pocket, but the cost of long-term care in New York is astronomically high. In New York City, long-term care in a nursing home can cost over $130,000 per year. Home care can cost as much as $18,000 to $20,000 per month.
Many people consider long-term care insurance, but there are many downsides, and after speaking to a financial advisor, many New Yorkers prefer to consult with an elder law attorney to assist in planning for their long-term care needs in a different fashion.
Planning For Long-Term Care Ahead of Time Can Protect Your Assets and Keep You At Home
Proper planning for long-term care with an elder law attorney is essential to ensure your assets are protected, so you don’t go broke in your later years in life. You can also ensure that your loved ones and caretakers are aware of any preference you may have regarding whether you want to stay at home if you need care.
Daniel J. Reiter, Esq. uses Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts and other strategies and vehicles to protect one’s wealth from the high costs of care as they age.
With a proper long-term care plan in place:
- You can receive the care you need and leave your wealth to your loved ones and the next generation instead of a nursing home or home care agency.
- Alleviate your loved ones of the burden of providing day-to-day care which can instead be handled by a professional.
- Alleviate the financial burden on you and your family in the statistically likely event that you need long-term care.
Daniel J. Reiter, Esq. handles all aspects of long-term care planning, Medicaid, elder law, and estate planning.