Elder law is another aspect of estate planning, focusing primarily on the needs of families and individuals as they age. Issues of aging include senior housing and home care, long-term care, guardianship, and health care documents, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Contact Banton Business & Legacy Law to retain an elder law attorney in Ellisville, Missouri.
As our population ages, more and more of us confront elder law issues, whether for ourselves or our parents. One of the most pressing issues is long-term nursing home care, which usually is not covered by traditional health insurance. Depending on where you live and the level of care needed, nursing home care costs can vary greatly. In 2017, the national median cost for a private room in a skilled nursing facility was $97,455. The average stay is slightly more than two years. Most people end up paying for nursing home care until their personal (or family) assets are depleted, then they may qualify for Medicaid to pick up the cost.
Careful planning can help you protect your assets, whether for your spouse or for your children. The belt-and-suspenders approach is to purchase long-term care insurance while you are healthy enough to qualify, and to make sure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled under Medicare and Medicaid.
Clients are frequently confused over the differences between Medicare and Medicaid. Though their names are very similar, the programs are quite different. Medicare is an entitlement program, a federal health insurance program in which most people enroll when they turn 65 years old. There are no financial qualification rules. Medicare has two primary parts: Part A and Part B.
Medicare Part A covers in-hospital care, extended care after a hospital stay, some home health care services, and hospice services. The rules for nursing home coverage are very strict and, in fact, Medicare pays for less than nine percent of nursing home care in this country.
Medicaid is a joint federal-state program. Each state implements its own regulations on how the program is managed. Medicaid is not an entitlement program like Medicare, but rather a form of welfare. Medicaid eligibility is determined after the proper application is submitted to the state. There are many Medicaid insurance programs available in Missouri, from basic medical coverage to nursing home programs.
An elder law attorney assists seniors and their families in making tough decisions regarding long-term care planning, including whether Medicaid eligibility may be an option.
Helping a parent move to senior housing can seem more intimidating than orchestrating a rocket launch. The death of a spouse, declining health, or safety concerns can trigger the need to move. The first phase comes with the realization that what has been home is no longer suitable. Emotional ties to a place are hard to overcome. Finding a new home that is appealing and appropriate is no easy task, and neither is culling through a lifetime's accumulation of stuff.
Here are some tips to help make the transition easier:
Plan ahead-don't wait for a health crisis to start the process. The smoothest transitions occur when the person moving is in the driver's seat.
Get a full assessment of the current situation-physical care needs and financial resources are where to start. Consider the costs of staying in place, including renovation and ongoing maintenance. Add the cost of rising utility bills and taxes, and don't forget transportation and food. Make a list and decide whether it's cheaper to stay or move to a community designed for seniors.
Take a multi-phase approach-seniors often take longer than a year to actually make the move.
Fully explore new housing options-senior living offers a broader range of options than ever before.
Call Banton Business & Legacy Law today at 636- 259-4640 to schedule a free consultation with an elder law attorney serving those located in Ballwin and Ellisville, Missouri.