If you or a loved one are facing long term care needs, then it is important that you speak to an attorney who specializes in Medicaid crisis planning as soon as possible. There is really no time to waste, the sooner you consult with us and start your crisis plan, the sooner you may be eligible for Medicaid.
Medicaid crisis planning is planning where you or a loved one are faced with catastrophic nursing home costs in the immediate future.
When we hear the word "crisis," we think of disasters or calamities of epic proportions. Well, that is where many Americans find themselves when they (or a family member) try to stay above water financially when dealing with the outrageous costs involved with senior care—especially when skilled care facilities are involved.
Accordingly, “crisis planning” in this context is planning for those who have an imminent need for Medicaid eligibility. Nursing home costs in South Carolina average $90,250 per year, with an average stay of up to five years. That is over $450,000! Many people are completely unprepared for such overwhelming costs. In a crisis planning situation, our goal is to help protect the “well spouse” from losing their life’s savings while qualifying the “sick spouse” for Medicaid assistance. Typically, even in crisis, we can protect up to 100% of the couple’s assets, and approximately 40-50% of a single person’s assets.
Many people are under the impression that Medicare will cover all of the expenses for nursing home care.
That is not the case. The most Medicare will cover is the first 100 days of rehabilitative services following a three-night hospital stay (and you must be “admitted” to the hospital, not just “under observation”). Even during the first 100 days, Medicare will not cover 100% of the bill, but will co-insure with your Medicare Supplement, if any.
We have also heard people ask if Medicare is only for the poor. Of course, it is not. Medicare is the default health insurance for people 65-years old and older. Eligibility is not income-dependent, nor is it means-tested.
For most people, Medicaid only becomes an option after Medicare benefits are exhausted. But what many people don’t realize is that Medicaid benefits are not automatic. In fact, to receive Medicaid, a patient and the patient's spouse (if married) must first "spend down" their "countable" assets. In South Carolina, that limit is $2,000 for a single person, but it gets a lot more complex for married couples. There are categories of assets that can be exempted with proper Medicaid “crisis” planning.
At the Elder Law & Estate Planning Center, we help individuals and married couples qualify for Medicaid while still protecting a good portion of their assets. Do not attempt to apply for Medicaid on your own.
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