It seems almost cruel in a way that nursing homes are as expensive as they are. People who have saved well for their retirements and intended to leave something to their heirs in an estate plan, often face steep nursing home bills. If a stay in a nursing home is long enough, then all their savings can be wiped out and there will be nothing left for the heirs.
Many older Americans look around for other ways to pay for long-term care in a nursing home, if they ever need it. Some will be able to purchase insurance for it, but it is expensive and difficult to get. Other people might have to rely on Medicaid for their care as CNBC discusses in “Here’s a surprise source you can tap for long-term care services.”
The big catch with Medicaid is that it is only available for poor people. To be eligible for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care, the patient needs to have fewer than $2,000 in assets. To get around this problem, patients cannot just give all of their assets away to family members when they need to go into a facility. Any such transfers will be deemed fraudulently made and will disqualify them from receiving help.
There are ways around this problem for people who plan ahead. An elder law attorney can help you develop a plan for your assets that will not make you ineligible for Medicaid. This planning must be done years in advance, so do not delay getting an appointment for long-term planning for Medicaid eligibility. Medicaid crisis planning is also available.
Reference: CNBC (Feb. 27, 2018) “Here’s a surprise source you can tap for long-term care services.”