Key to Deciding How to Pay for Long-Term Care Is Understanding the Options



Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 21, 2015 – There are a number of options when preparing for long-term care, which will be needed by up to 70 percent of individuals age 65 or older, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The HHS predicts that 20 percent will require long-term care for over five years.

Long-term care can include 24-hour supervision or help with personal care and other responsibilities. Whatever kind of long-term care required, it is advisable to plan for one’s health and well-being long before retirement. Long-term care is usually defined as the services needed to manage essential activities on a daily basis, or rehabilitation that lasts more than 90 days. These kinds of services are normally given in one of three different types of environments, including assisted-living facilities, nursing homes or one’s home.

“In preparing for long-term care, it is imperative that one act quickly so as to protect assets, ensure the security of a spouse and safeguard an inheritance for heirs,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center, with offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk.

The cost of long-term care is dependent on the type of services provided and the place where one receives such services. According to HHS, while the average monthly cost of a private room in a nursing home was $6,965 in 2010, the cost of a semi-private room was approximately $6,235. And the average cost of monthly care in a one-bedroom apartment at an assisted-living facility was $3,293. While women generally require long-term care for approximately 3.7 years, men need long-term care for about 2.2 years on average.

Some seniors will be able to pay for long-term care from their savings, but many will need to consider other options. Long-term care insurance can pay for many types of long-term care, including nursing home care, assisted living and in-home care, depending on the policy. Medicare generally doesn’t cover room and board for long-term care stays in a nursing home, but it covers doctor services and hospital visits. Nursing home care can be paid for by Medicaid for those who satisfy income and asset requirements. In some cases, one may decrease one’s assets in order to qualify for Medicaid, while using estate planning tools to protect those assets.

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