Long-Term Care Costs Are Surging, Survey Says

According to USA Today

A survey released Tuesday shows long-term care costs are continuing to increase. Growing labor expenses and sicker patients helped push the median cost of care that includes adult day care and assisted living communities up an average of 4.5 percent this year. Nursing home care now costs more than $97,000, soon to top $100,000 per year. That's the second-highest increase since the survey started in 2004. The cost of home health aide services climbed the most, rising 6 percent, to $21.50 an hour. Long-term care can impose a crushing financial burden on individuals or families in part because Medicare, the federal health coverage program for people over age 65, provides limited help.

It is not necessary to spend down your life savings on long term care expenses to qualify for Medicaid programs available to assist with payment for in-home care, assisted living facility expenses, nursing home expenses, and even daycare/respite programs. You can protect your life savings and still be eligible for these programs. You do not have to sell your home or buy any financial products to qualify for Medicaid.

Medicaid planning can either be done in advance of the need, or immediately for a person already in an assisted living facility or nursing home. It is never too late to plan and protect assets. Applicants do not have to wait five (5) years to qualify for Medicaid. “Giving away assets” can delay or prevent Medicaid eligibility and can result in a disastrous situation in which an applicant is impoverished and yet still not eligible for Medicaid assistance.

Several different Medicaid programs can help with expenses and you should not wait to explore these issues - with careful planning you can obtain the help you need now without draining your nest egg.