Elder Law Today Show #4 Long Term Care Planning – The Way to Avoid Nursing Home Care
In the fourth installment of his podcast, Elder Law Today, Yale Hauptman, a practicing New Jersey elder law attorney, discusses how long term care planning actually decreases the likelihood of ever needing nursing home care. Learn how the long term care system actually works to push people towards nursing homes when they have no more money. Medicaid home based benefits often pay only a part of the cost of aides needed on a 24 hour 7 day a week basis, but will pay the entire cost of care if provided in a nursing home setting. It is, therefore, important to plan ahead to have the funds available to
be able to stay at home.
Yale also reviews for listeners an unknown Veterans Administration benefit for eligible Veterans that can provide as much as $1800 per month in additional income to cover the cost of home aides and assisted living care. The Veterans Aid and Attendance program can help qualified seniors preserve their much needed assets. But Yale cautions that one must keep an eye on the next level of care so as not to jeopardize eligibility for other benefit programs down the road. This requires the coordination of a long term care plan to meet all levels of care, not just the current one.
In the second segment Yale interviews Angie Hicks of Angieâs List, a website offering reviews by consumers of local home improvement contractors. Yale and Angie talk about how Angieâs List is seeing more inquiries in recent years by children who need help finding services for their parents who live long distances away. Seeing the aging of America, Angie tells Yale that Angieâs List now offers ratings of various elder care services to assist families who are faced with the task of caring for the elderly members of the family unit from a distance.
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My mom is 85 years old and wants to take the family of 16 on an Alaskan cruise, cost her about $35,000.00. will Medicaid look at this as a gift? if yes, how can she get around this gift, still take the family on vacation and still qualify for Medicaid within 5 years. I have been searching the internet and unable to get a straight answer. I hope you can help my mom. She is very upset, said it’s my money I can spend it how I want. Please help. Thank you.
Medicaid rules vary from state to state so you should check with an elder law attorney in your state but I would say that it is likely that Medicaid will view most of the expense as a gift, or transfer for less than fair value. The cost of the trip for Mom would be OK and maybe, if Mom needed a companion to accompany her due to her health, the cost for that person as well, but not the other 14 people. While Mom may view it as “the government telling me how to spend my money”, the State would look at it differently. It wants you to spend your money before you ask for someone else’s.
Nevertheless, it is probably a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable elder law attorney in your area to see what steps can be taken to make sure Mom’s long term care needs will be met and at the same time, find a way for her to enjoy spending some of her hard earned savings on her family.
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