Who Will Pay for the Nursing Home?

Unfortunately, most people do not plan for the nursing home, until the crisis occurs. As an elder care attorney I see this situation time and again. Therefore, it is important to educate my clients on the options they have available.

The nursing home is a strong possibility for most Americans. People are now living longer than they ever have before.  Consequently, for most they cannot care for themselves.  Therefore, you will need some form of long-term care, usually, the nursing home.

We, if the need occurs, help you plan for how to make this possibility happen.  Medicare does not pay for the nursing home. Therefore, you have to pay privately, approximately, around $10,000-$12,000 per month!

So, how does one pay for the nursing home? 

As an elder care attorney we typically see four ways:

1.       Private Pay – Any care that is needed, from nursing homes to prescriptions drugs (including co-payments or full costs) are covered out of pocket. Consequently, your lifetime savings, IRA’s, stocks, and any other assets that you’ve worked for are depleted.

2.       Medicare – Medicare is a government run health insurance program. However, Medicare does not cover long-term care in the nursing home. 

3.       Medicaid – Medicaid is the only government benefit intended for the nursing home. However, you must apply and qualify for this benefit.  If you assets (a home and a few thousand dollars in the bank), you will not be able to qualify, until those assets are “spent down.” However, not is all lost as we can prepare in advance to protect your assets. Even if you are in or entering the nursing home, we have Asset Protection strategies, so that you can qualify for Medicaid benefits and protect all or some of your assets.

4.       Long-Term Care Insurance – This can help to cover the costs of the nursing home.  However, policies are confusing and expensive. Therefore, we can review these policies for you to ensure you understand them and are getting what you expect. Unfortunately, only about 7% of Americans currently have long-term care insurance policies.

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