Three Ways Your Clients Can Pay for Long-Term Care
Seniors 65 years of age and older number more than 40 million in the US—more than one in every eight Americans. Estimates show that by 2030, seniors will number 72 million, and 83.7 million by 2050. As the population ages, they often require long-term care. But assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and other long-term care options can be very expensive. As an elder law attorney, you can use a variety of techniques to help your clients stretch their long-term care dollars. In this article, we’ll review three ways your clients can pay for long-term care.
There are three primary methods to pay for nursing homes or assisted living facilities:
- Private paying. This is where the client uses their own dollars to pay all the costs.
- Insurance. Your client will use their insurance to cover some or all the costs.
- Need-based government benefits. Two examples of this include VA benefits and Medicaid.
Private Paying for Long-Term Care
Clients who private pay for their care can often end up indigent because the costs are so high. Nursing home costs can range from about $8,000 to $13,000 per month for one person. And assisted living facilities costs can range from $3,000 to $7,000 per month, depending on the level of care and the facility itself.
And the cost for home care is no better—costs for a home health aide can run from $12 to $25 per hour, depending on the caregiver’s training and how they are employed. It’s unfortunate that many people spend all their savings on long-term care and then have nothing left.
Long-Term Care Insurance
For some clients, long-term care insurance can help. But few people have this type of insurance, and those who do rarely have sufficient coverage. Most people who consider nursing home care don’t have long-term care insurance—and they either cannot qualify for available policies or cannot afford the premiums. Therefore, long-term care insurance is not an option for many people.
Need-Based Government Benefits
Veterans may be able to get assisted living, residential (live-in), or home health care through VA. But there are many conditions, and VA benefits might not cover all the costs. Medicaid is also an option; Medicaid pays for 100% of nursing home costs in most cases when clients meet the eligibility requirements. This includes the finest facilities if you know the tricks to get in.
Medicaid now covers assisted living facilities and home care as well. However, in order to qualify for Medicaid, applicants must have less than $2,000 in savings and fall under applicable income levels. Therefore, VA benefits and Medicaid may not be long-term care options for everyone.
How Elder Law Attorneys Can Help
In the words of one court, “No agency of the government has any right to complain about the fact that middle-class people confronted with desperate circumstances choose [to do Medicaid asset-protection planning] when it is the government itself which has established the rule that poverty is a prerequisite to the receipt of government assistance in the defraying of the costs of ruinously expensive, but absolutely essential medical treatment.”
Elder Law attorneys can help their clients to convert countable savings legally and ethically to non-countable savings. This enables Elder Law clients to qualify for Medicaid and keep their savings. This is done not out of greed, but of necessity, so that the Elder Law client is not left indigent because of long-term care costs.
About Elder Law College (ELC)
Attorneys proficient in Elder Law matters who are trained to provide meaningful services and specialized guidance to our aging population are increasingly well positioned for growth. Elder Law College offers the most comprehensive, detailed, and accelerated training available. ELC offers world-class training, graduate level courses, and ongoing support to help each learner forge a better, more holistic, more profitable practice where they can do well by doing good.
Learn more about Elder Law College by visiting our website at https://elderlawcollege.com.