What Is Nursing Home Asset Protection?
When you hear the term “nursing home asset protection,” you may scratch your head a bit. First of all, you may assume that it is unlikely that you will ever need nursing home care. Secondly, you may be under the impression that Medicare will pay for nursing home care if you ever need it.
In reality, nursing home asset protection is important for many senior citizens, and you will get the picture when you understand the facts. When it comes to the likelihood factor, the United States Department of Health and Human Services tells us that seven out of every 10 people who are turning 65 will need living assistance at some point in time. Many will reside in nursing homes and assisted living communities.
The Medicare program will pay for convalescent care after an injury or illness assuming recovery is imminent, but the program does not pay for custodial care. This is the type of care that you would receive if you require help with your activities of daily living on a permanent basis.
Now that you understand these two facts of life, you may have some questions about nursing home costs. We practice law in the greater Dallas area. A very useful study has been conducted by Genworth Financial, and it has found that the median annual cost for a private room in a nursing home in our area is $78,475. The median charge for a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living community in Dallas is $46,722 at the present time.
A government survey has found that the average length of stay is approximately 2 years and three months for nursing home residents, and 10 percent of these individuals remain in the facilities for a minimum of five years.
When you combine all of these facts, you can probably see why nursing home asset protection is relevant.
The Medicaid program is a government run health insurance program for people with very limited financial resources. This program does pay for long-term care. To protect assets from devastating nursing home costs, you could take steps that lead to Medicaid eligibility.
You could do this through the implementation of a Medicaid spend down, which will often involve lifetime gift giving. If you give your loved ones their inheritances in advance, you can keep assets in the family and qualify for Medicaid to pay for long-term care.
Since the program rules are complex, you have to give these gifts well in advance of the submission of your application if you want to obtain eligibility in a timely manner.
Protect Your Assets
There is a great deal to digest if you want to fully understand nursing home asset protection strategies. If you are ready to take the next step, send us a message through this page to set up a consultation: Dallas TX Elder Law Attorneys.