Elder Law & Medical Services

By: Deborah Sexton Law Office  03/24/2016
Keywords: Medical Services, Long Term Care Insurance, Elder Law

WHAT IS ELDER LAW? Elder Law involves planning for the complex health care, long-term care and other issues facing elderly and disabled individuals and their families. Although every client’s specific needs are different, Fayetteville Arkansas elder law attorneys generally focus on Medicaid and Medicare benefits for long-term care, estate planning and administration, guardianships and conservatorships and establishing and administering various kinds of trusts. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO QUALIFY FOR MEDICAID? It may come as a surprise, but our life expectancy is considerably longer today than it was just a few generations ago. However, living longer can come at a high price due to long-term care and health care costs. These expenses can quickly diminish a life savings without careful planning. As such, we all need to incorporate Medicaid planning into our overall estate plans to ensure we receive the maximum benefits from the program without putting all of our assets in jeopardy. The average stay in a long-term care facility is 30 months. With the average annual cost of a long-term care facility running around $75,000, the bill for a stay in a long-term care facility can quickly deplete a life savings if you are forced to pay for it out of pocket. Unlike Medicare, the Medicaid program will cover some of the costs associated with long-term care, which is why it is important to qualify for the program. WHAT IS MEDICAID PLANNING? Medicaid is a government program that assists low-income individuals in paying for medically necessary medical services. The resource limit for an individual is $2,000 and for a couple is $3,000. Although certain assets, such as your homestead, are excluded when calculating your resources, it is easy for your savings to be depleted quickly before Medicaid starts paying for long-term care costs. The purpose of Medicaid planning is to prevent that from happening. Simply transferring assets out of your name when you realize you need to qualify for Medicaid does not work because the Medicaid guidelines include a “look-back” period. In essence, the look back period is a period of time prior to application during which you cannot have made any asset transfers. Because of this rule, many clients have the mistaken impression that there is nothing that can be done to protect assets from nursing home costs.

Keywords: Elder Law, Elder Law Attorneys, Estate Administration, Estate Planning Attorney, Living Wills, Long Term Care Insurance, Medical Services, TRUST ADMINISTRATION & PROBATE

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