You may have heard that Medicaid is important to many senior citizens. This can be confusing. If you have paid taxes while working all of your life, you may wonder why Medicaid would be important to you. After all, you are going to be eligible for Medicare when you reach the age of 65.
The reason why Medicaid is important for many senior citizens is because Medicare will not pay for long-term care. Long-term care, which would be the type of care that people receive in nursing homes and long-term care communities, is considered to be custodial care. It is not looked upon as medical care. Therefore, Medicare will not assist with these costs.
It is difficult to impossible for many people to pay for long-term care expenses out-of-pocket. Using the current average costs coupled with the average length of stay, which is in excess of two years, you could be looking at a figure approaching $200,000. This is what it would cost today. Long-term care costs are rising year-by-year. If you need care in 20 or 30 years the bills that you incur could be much higher.
Though Medicare won’t pay for long-term care, Medicaid will pay for it if you can qualify. This is why Medicaid planning is important to many senior citizens who are eligible for Medicare coverage.
Though Medicaid is a need-based program, it is possible to qualify for coverage while retaining possession of much of what you own, i.e. assets that would comprise your estate. The key is to plan ahead in advance with full knowledge of program rules and regulations.
This Probably Won’t Happen to Me
You may not be concerned about future long-term care costs because there is no history of disability or dementia in your family. If you feel this way, you should become apprised of some of the facts.
The majority of senior citizens are going to need help with their day-to-day needs eventually. When you are talking about family history, there are many factors to take into consideration. The fact that your parents and your grandparents may have been fortunate does not mean that you won’t be among the majority of individuals who will someday need living assistance.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, around 45 percent of people that are at least 85 have this disease. People suffering from Alzheimer’s often require care that can only be provided in nursing homes.
People are living longer lives these days. Perhaps your ancestors who were able to steer clear of disabilities late in their lives did not enjoy this type of longevity. In fact, the segment of the population that is between 85 and 94 years of age is growing faster than any other according to the United States Census Bureau.
Medicaid planning may well be of benefit to you regardless of your family health history. It is certainly better to be safe than to be sorry.
Parman & Easterday
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