When we hear the word “crisis,” we think of disasters or calamities of epic proportions. That is where many Americans find themselves when they try to stay afloat financially while dealing with the high costs of a family member needing long-term care.
Many people who become disabled simply do not have the resources to pay for the skilled nursing care that they need. It is a problem that affects many North Carolina families. Crisis planning in this context involves dealing with a loved one’s imminent need for Medicaid eligibility to cover long-term care.
If you are thinking about seeking Medicaid for yourself or a loved one, you should speak to an elder care attorney who focuses on this area of law as soon as possible. There is no time to waste. The sooner you get to work on this, the sooner you may be eligible for Medicaid benefits.
What is the Process for Long-Term Care Planning?
Educate Yourself about Long-Term Care Options—Long-term care involves assistance with daily tasks including meal preparation, taking medicine, and dressing. Depending on the level of care needed, there are many long-term care options available including home care, adult day care, assisted living, and continuing care retirement communities.
Plan How to Pay for Long-Term Care—One of the most important steps in long-term care planning is determining how you will pay for it. Make no mistake, long-term care is expensive. The average yearly cost of a nursing home room is $8,000 a month in North Carolina. Medicare generally does not cover long-term care. It is important to have a plan for how you’ll afford long-term care. A plan may include spending personal savings, having long-term care insurance, and turning to Medicaid.
Talk to an Elder Care Lawyer—More than two-thirds of Americans ages 65 and older will need long-term care, according to the American Association of Retired Persons. A long-term care planning attorney in Raleigh or Cary, NC can help you plan for the future and draft legal instructions and advance care directives to be sure that your wishes are followed concerning your long-term care and finances.
Understanding Long-Term Care Crisis Placement
A sudden change in a senior’s health or the health of his or her caregiver may mean that the individual cannot live at home safely any longer. You may need to find an available bed in a long-term care facility as soon as possible for a loved one who can no longer live independently.
You may need to act quickly to apply for Medicaid for a loved one. If you try to transfer assets to loved ones close to the time that you see Medicaid, the government may scrutinize the movement of your assets and deny you Medicaid benefits. Crisis planning for Medicaid eligibility needs to be done carefully by an experienced elder law attorney to avoid penalties.
Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home Bills?
Many people are under the impression that after they sign up for Medicare, it will cover all of their health care expenses, including nursing home care. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Medicare can help pay for nursing home care for a short period. But it generally doesn’t cover long-term care. The most that Medicare will cover is the first 100 days in a nursing home if you are eligible at all.
When to Call an Elder Care Lawyer in Raleigh for Long-Term Care Assistance
The brief answer to the question about the best time to call an elder care attorney is: Right now.
It is best to approach the process of long-term care planning when you are healthy and can consider your long-term care options in the context of retirement planning with a knowledgeable elder care attorney. However, many families make decisions about long-term care in a crisis management situation.
Have questions about long-term care? A compassionate elder care attorney at Brady Cobin Law Group can answer questions about the options available to you and assist you with the application for long-term care. Contact us to schedule a consultation.