Planning For Nursing Home Care
The overwhelming majority of Americans will require in-home health services, an assisted living facility, or skilled care at a nursing home. . One of the hardest part of planning for long term care is determining the cost of this care where such services may not be needed in the near term, determining the different programs that exist to help pay or offset the cost of this care and their respective eligibility requirements, and engaging legal assistance to ensure eligibility. At Fisher Law, our experienced Norwood elder law attorneys can help you review your options and help you plan for the financial demands of long term care. While attorneys cannot determine the appropriate health care setting for a client, once it is determine that a client needs services whether at home, at an assisted living facility, or skilled care at a nursing home, our attorneys can provide you with an overview of options to pay for care, determine eligibility for the appropriate setting, and then apply for the benefit to provide peace of mind for you and your family. To learn more about the ways that we help our clients pay for long term care, talk to our office today to schedule a consultation.
Medicaid, which is called MassHealth in Massachusetts, is a joint state and federal program that covers the costs of skilled nursing care. A person must first be medically assessed and have less than $2,000 in countable assets. Residents using MassHealth must pay their facility a Patient Paid Amount (PPA) out of their monthly income for their stay. A MassHealth attorney, such as the attorneys at Fisher Law, can help you determine what are countable assets and exempt assets and then help you qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal financial assistance program that may be used specifically if a person needs to spend time in a rest home. Applicants for this program must be 65 years or older or meet certain disability criteria. They must not have more than $2,000 in countable assets as a single person or $3,000 in assets as a married couple. Any income must also be below certain standards set by SSI. One benefit of this option is that qualified applicants automatically also qualify for Medicaid to cover their medical expenses.
Long Term Care Insurance Plans
Insurance plans also sometimes cover the cost of a nursing home stay for their clients. However, the terms of when and how long a stay is covered with this option vary substantially depending on the private plan. The Massachusetts Division of Insurance or your financial advisor can provide some guidance if this may be an option for you. Note that health insurance, such as Medigap insurance and Medicare, do not pay for long term care costs, such as rent at an assisted living facility or skilled care at a nursing home. In these settings, you would look to benefits provided under a long-term care insurance plan, if you had purchased one in the past, VA Aid & Attendance benefits or other VA service-connected disability benefits or pensions, and MassHealth. Where an elder does not have long term care insurance, cannot qualify for VA benefits or enhance pensions, and cannot qualify for Medicaid, the only option is to pay privately.
Private Pay Contracts
For those who have the means to pay for nursing home care on their own, a private pay contract may be the best option. In this situation, the resident signs a contract with the nursing home facility detailing the services that would be received in exchange for treatment. It is important in this situation that any contract is reviewed with an attorney so that the resident is fully informed about what they are signing.
The VA provides limited nursing home services to veterans of our nation’s military through three programs:
- VA owned and operated nursing homes
- State veterans’ homes owned and operated by Massachusetts
- The community nursing home program
Each option has its own set of criteria and costs that an experienced elder law attorney can review with you and your loved ones. To learn more about the various ways that our clients cover the cost of nursing home care, talk to our office today.
Call or Contact Us Now
At Fisher Law, we understand how concerning the idea of paying for long term care is for our elderly clients and their loved ones. Our compassionate and experienced lawyers are here to help you review your options and determine what is best for you. Call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation of your elder care needs.