We would like to take this opportunity to answer three of the most commonly asked elder law questions.
1.) I have heard that elder law largely centers around the issue of long-term care and the costs involved. Doesn’t Medicare pay for long-term care?
This is a common misconception. Medicare will pay for as many as 100 days of convalescent care after surgery. It won’t pay for a long-term stay in a nursing home or assisted living community.
2.) Since Medicare won’t pay for long-term care, is it easy to pay these expenses out-of-pocket?
Most people would find it difficult to comfortably pay for long-term care on their own. Obviously circumstances vary, but the average length of stay for someone who resides in a nursing home is around two years and three months.
The average annual charge for a private room in a nursing home in the United States in 2012 was in excess of $90,500.
One out of every 10 nursing home residents will spend at least five years in the home.
3.) Is there anywhere to turn?
A possible solution exists in the form of Medicaid. While Medicaid is ostensibly designed to provide access to medical care to those with financial need, most seniors in nursing homes receive assistance from Medicaid.
The program rules are complex, but it is possible to proceed in a manner that preserves a maximum store of resources for the benefit of your family members.
The best way to explore these strategies would be to sit down and discuss everything with a licensed elder law attorney.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday