The cost of a nursing home and how to pay for it
A national survey by insurance company Genworth discovered that the median annual cost of a semiprivate nursing home is more than $80,000, with a private room costing more than $90,000 a year. To make matters worse, this cost is growing at over twice the rate of inflation. This is why most people choose to turn to Medicaid to meet these costs. If you will be doing the same, you should know how the laws that govern Medicaid will affect your day-to-day life. For this, you will need advice from a Medicaid attorney.
Medicaid and its complex laws
The laws governing Medicaid were written to account for senior citizens of many different income levels, with different financial situations and different medical needs. But all forms of Medicaid come with some sort of income restriction that will needlessly impact your lifestyle if you let it. If one member of a married couple has to accept nursing home aid, the other will be permitted to keep a minimum of $1,991.25 a month out of their combined incomes. Once in a nursing home, you will be allowed to have an income of $1,247.50 if you need basic care and $1,560.50 if you need a dementia-lockdown unit. This includes Social Security, fixed pensions and other forms of fixed income, but not interest, dividends or payments out of an IRA or 401K.
Medicaid also comes with limits on resources. If you and your spouse have more than $240,000 between you, when one of you goes into a nursing home the other will not be able to keep more than $119,220. This includes life insurance, retirement plans, IRAs and annuities. There are ways of using Medicaid law to keep more of your income and resources. A Medicaid attorney will be able to advise you of them.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that if you go into an assisted living center, you’ll face a different set of rules than you would if you went into a nursing home. In both cases, you’ll need to start planning your estate several years in advance — when you probably won’t know which one you’re going to need.
Medicaid law or Medicaid attorney expert in Gastonia, NC
As you can see, Medicaid law is a very complicated subject. There are ways to protect your assets when applying for Medicaid, but you’ll need an attorney who understands the subject in order to get the most out of it. Robert C. Whitt is a Gastonia Medicaid attorney, servicing the areas of Gastonia, Charlotte, Mount Holly and Gaston, Mecklenburg, Lincoln Counties and surrounding communities. He focuses on wills, trusts and other aspects of elder law. Call and make an appointment today.