Health Care Planning

Elder Law Planning for Health Care Expenses

As we age, a lawyer for elderly care becomes an important ally as we evaluate our health care coverage and planning to cover ongoing or unexpected health conditions.

Medicare, Medicaid, and Everything Else

Senior citizens of retirement age are usually covered by Medicare, the Federal plan providing for hospitalization, medical care, and other health care services. Even though you are enrolled in Original Medicare, all expenses will not be covered, so you may choose to sign up for a Medicare supplement plan, which covers all or part of the costs not covered by Medicare. Or you may choose to enroll in a Medicare advantage plan, a type of private insurance offered by companies that contract with Medicare.

However, even with Medicare coverage and an additional supplement plan or advantage plan, you will still have medical expenses for which you are responsible. Some of those expenses include Medicare B, Medicare Supplement, or Medicare advantage plan premiums, deductibles, co‐pays, costs for services beyond the minimum level of care offered by Medicare, and costs for health care services and equipment not provided through Medicare. Your elder care attorney can help you identify these expenses and set up a trust to provide funding for medical‐related expenses.

Medicaid is another government program that provides health insurance. Medicaid is funded and run by the federal government in partnership with states to cover people with limited incomes. When they have suffered debilitating illness or accident and require full‐time skilled nursing care in a nursing home or long‐term care facility, many seniors will rapidly deplete their assets and require Medicaid coverage. Consulting with an experienced elder care attorney, you can manage your financial assets to benefit your spouse or other family members while still providing more than minimum care for yourself. Medicaid estate planning helps protect life savings nursing home care would soon wipe out. Professional elder care legal services from Glenn A. Deig, Attorney at Law, will provide guidance in extending your financial assets to ensure you and your spouse will receive the best care.

If you should become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions regarding your own health care, having a living will or health care advance directive provides medical professionals with your instructions or goals for care. In combination with a medical power of attorney, which names a trusted person to make health care decisions for you, you can be assured that your wishes will be considered in your care and that your loved ones will be relieved of the need to make difficult decisions in stressful emergency situations. Glenn A. Deig, your lawyer for elderly care, is a valuable advisor in setting up these legal documents.

Health Care Coverage for Your Dependents

If your spouse or dependent child is disabled, you may be able to provide care for them without compromising their eligibility to receive benefits from government programs. Special needs planning and setting up a trust for their care will enable them to have funds for medical and dental expenses, equipment, treatment, glasses, and many other items to enhance quality of life that are not provided in the scope of government benefit programs. Special needs planning is an important part of your estate planning in these circumstances.