Planning for Nursing Home and Long‐Term Care
It is quite likely that you or your spouse or parent will face an extended stay in a nursing home or long‐term care facility. You might start out with a brief stay following a hospitalization to allow you to recuperate from a serious illness or accident. Medicare typically will pay for up to 100 days in that type of situation. However, because of serious accident, chronic health conditions, and advanced age or disability, you may be facing the need for nursing home care on a permanent basis. At that point, you would become responsible for the costs of such care which can be as much as $250 per day or more. Your attorney specializing in elder law can help you evaluate your options and set up estate planning and trusts that will provide asset protection from nursing home costs.
Nursing Care Costs and Medicaid Planning
The average annual cost for long‐term care in a nursing home in Indiana can be as much as $79,000 or higher. At that rate, your family’s financial assets would be rapidly depleted. Medicaid can provide coverage for nursing home long‐term care for qualifying seniors, but very strict guidelines govern the financial assets allowed for those applying for such assistance. Some assets, such as the family’s primary residence and one vehicle, as well as income only in the name of your spouse still living in the community, are exempted in the evaluation of eligibility. However, the nursing home patient may have very limited financial assets. This means that your hard‐earned savings and other assets will need to be liquidated, sometimes referred to as a spend‐down.
Consulting with an elder care attorney, you can arrange protection for some of your assets, provide for your spouse and loved ones, and have financial assets to allow yourself more than just the minimum level of care and comfort provided by the nursing home or long‐term care facility.
For further details, consult our information page on Medicaid Planning.