When admitting your elderly parents to a nursing home, the thought of finances can be overwhelming. During what can already be a difficult stage of life, elder law attorney Dirk Winkler at Winkler Legal in Columbus, Ohio, is here to help. We have broken down your options when it comes to paying for long-term care.
- Long Term Care Insurance. It can be expensive, especially depending on age and existing health conditions. Long-term care insurance (“LTC”) usually pays a stated monthly amount with a lifetime cap. Long-term care insurance not only helps to protect from having to liquidate assets, it also results in a credit (equal to the amount that the LTC policy paid towards care) to help protect your hard-earned assets.
- Life Insurance LTC Rider. It is not uncommon today for life insurance carriers to offer Long-Term Care insurance riders on existing term, or whole life insurance policies. The rider will allow the death benefit to be paid out during the insured’s lifetime should there be a qualifying long-term healthcare event. It is worth contacting your financial planner or insurance agent to see if it is available on your life insurance policy.
- Self Pay. Using one’s assets to pay for long-term nursing care is the most common means of paying for long-term nursing home care – until the assets are depleted. However, if you do no additional planning, an unmarried parent will have to liquidate most of their assets down to $2,000 (spend-down penalty period). If your parents are married, the well spouse may be able to retain up to $126,420 and the primary residence. Planning ahead protects more assets subject to being spent down.
- Medicaid. If you’re impoverished (have less than $2,000 in assets) and your income is below $2,313 you may qualify immediately for Medicaid financial assistance. Simply contact the nursing home and apply for Medicaid services.
Contact Winkler Legal today for support when choosing which financial option is best for you and your family. You can even schedule a free phone consultation with attorney Dirk Winkler.