Last time, we looked at the cost of long-term care and two strategies frequently used to cope with it. Now let’s look at several other options.
Some insurance companies have begun to offer life insurance policies that can help pay for long-term care services. The options include combination life/long-term care products, accelerated death benefits, life settlements and viatical settlements. Combination products are relatively new and the features change constantly as the products evolve.
You may choose to enter into an annuity contract with an insurance company to help pay for long-term care services. In exchange for a single payment or a series of payments, the insurance company will send you an annuity, which is a series of regular payments over a specified and defined period of time. There are two types of annuities, Immediate Annuities and Deferred Long-term Care Annuities.
You can learn more about long-term care insurance, reverse mortgages, life insurance, and annuities by visiting the government’s long-term care website, http://longtermcare.gov. If you are thinking about using one or more of these options, please contact us first. They may not be the best approach in your particular situation.
Obtaining assistance from Medicaid.
It is estimated that in the United States 60 percent of nursing home residents rely on Medicaid to finance their nursing home care. Even so, many families do not try to obtain such assistance because they believe they have too many assets or too much income to qualify. Others simply give assets away in the hope of becoming eligible. While you are certainly free to give away anything you want, doing so improperly can make you ineligible to receive Medicaid assistance for months, even years.
Fortunately, with proper planning it is possible to protect your assets and receive the assistance you need. We can use a wide range of tools and strategies to structure your estate in such a way that you will meet the government’s asset and income requirements. These tools and strategies include exemption planning, strategic gifting, irrevocable trust development and more.
What if you are already in a nursing home?
Perhaps you or a loved one is already in a nursing home, or must enter one very soon, and you have been told that you own too many assets to qualify for assistance from Medicaid. Do not give up. This situation, known as a Medicaid crisis, is more common than you might think. The information provided to you by friends, nursing home intake staff and even social workers may very well be outdated or simply inaccurate. You are not alone during this difficult time. We may still be able to protect your assets for yourself, your spouse and your heirs while at the same time obtaining assistance from Medicaid to pay for your nursing home care.
Contact us at your earliest convenience to learn how we can help you manage the high cost of long-term care.