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Elder Law / Medicaid Pre-Planning

The high cost of long-term care has made planning a critically important issue for most middle class seniors and their families.  In fact, most seniors will likely require some form of long-term care. Sadly, many of them are unprepared for the significant financial burdens it places on their family’s hard earned savings.  Financial devastation looms large for a family facing ongoing care at a rate of $6,000 or more per month.
 
Long-Term Care Options
While some seniors are able to afford private pay care, the cost of long-term care will wipe out savings of all but the wealthiest families in a matter of years.  Those who have planned ahead by purchasing long-term care insurance have a degree of certainty and peace of mind, knowing that they have a lesser need to rely on other sources in the future.  Unfortunately, many can’t afford the high cost of long term care insurance or worse, because of age of medical condition cannot qualify for long term care insurance altogether.  If you do have long-term care insurance, you should be aware of what your policy covers.  Many policies have high deductibles or provide for only a short period of care in facility.  In fact, many who have long-term care insurance may still have to resort to Medicaid eventually to pay for their care.
 
Medicaid Eligibility
The other option to pay for care is Medicaid.  A joint federal-state program, Medicaid provides medical assistance to low-income individuals, including those who are 65 or older, disabled or blind.  Medicaid is the single largest payer of nursing home bills in America and serves as the option of last resort for people who have no other way to finance their long-term care.  Although Medicaid eligibility rules vary from state to state, federal minimum standards and guidelines must be observed.
 
 With respect to long-term care, Medicaid eligibility has been steadily drifting towards more complex and restrictive rules, the latest being the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 which went into effect in 2006.  These changes have resulted in complex eligibility requirements for those in need of Medicaid benefits.  It’s no longer as easy as reviewing one’s bank statements.  There are a myriad of regulations involving look-back periods, income caps, transfer penalties and waiting periods to plan around.
 
Our law firm has the experience and the expertise to help families pre-plan to avoid the financial ruin associated with the high cost of long-term care.  Contact us today to start the process of understanding the issues surrounding Medicaid eligibility and to begin taking them into account before the need for Medicaid arises.


Our attorneys assist families with Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate and Estate Administration, Incapacity Planning, Special Needs Planning, Planning for Children, Charitable Planning, Business Succession Planning, and other multi-generational matters in Plainfield, IL and the surrounding areas, including Joliet, Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook, Channahon, Crest Hill, Lockport, Minooka, Oswego, Romeoville, Shorewood, and Yorkville, in Will County, DuPage County, Kendall County, and Kane County.



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