Planning is as important as ever in today’s world where long-term care has become a critical issue for many seniors and their families. Most seniors will likely require some form of long-term care during their life time, but many of them are unable to cover the costs associated with such care. Today’s seniors can expect to pay $9,000 a month or more for nursing home care, a rate that would wipe out most seniors’ savings and assets within a few years, leaving them nothing to pass on to the next generation.
Today’s seniors can expect to pay $9,000 a month or more for nursing home care, a rate that would wipe out most seniors’ savings and assets within a few years, leaving them nothing to pass on to the next generation.
Those who have purchased long-term care insurance will need to rely less on other sources to pay for their care, but unfortunately many can’t afford the high cost of long-term care insurance, can’t qualify for long-term care insurance, or simply haven’t planned ahead and purchased the insurance.
If a senior doesn’t have long-term care insurance, another option available to pay for care is Medicaid (MaineCare in Maine). In recent years, MaineCare eligibility rules have increased in complexity and changed the requirements for those in need of MaineCare assistance. One of the biggest changes to the MaineCare eligibility requirements is the 60-month lookback period. This requirement prohibits a senior from transferring assets for less than fair market value without penalty within 60 months of applying for MaineCare.
Even if a senior is not eligible for or can’t afford long-term care insurance, there are legal planning opportunities that can be used to protect assets in the event that MaineCare is needed in the future. It’s best to do this MaineCare planning as early as possible, and if reliable family members are involved it can save a large portion of the senior’s assets.