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As a Florida senior, do you have a long-term care plan? Are you aware that the average stay in a nursing home is over $10,000? Do you have long-term care insurance, are you planning to use your own funds for private pay or are you hoping to use Medicare or some type of government program? It is important that Florida seniors plan for long-term care as soon as possible. We want to discuss more in this blog about the need to protect yourself for long-term care early with Medicaid planning.

• Did you know that senior Americans are, on average, living a decade longer than they were fifty years ago? This may be great news, but seniors may also have more than one disorder or disease existing together, which would therefore cause a higher need of seniors requiring nursing home care in the later years of their lives.

• Are you planning to have your family take care of you as you age? In this day and time, it may be difficult to rely on family members to care for you as you age. In an ideal situation, seniors could spend these additional years of their lives living with and being cared for by their children and grandchildren or other extended family members. However, life expectancy for seniors is not the only thing that has changed in America over the last fifty years. The cost of living has increased. This increase has resulted in households where both spouses work full-time. In addition, people are having children later in life, which means when their parent or grandparent requires assistance, they will probably be raising young children and working full-time, leaving little to no time to care for an elder relative.

• Will Medicare cover the cost of a nursing home? Medicare only covers a very short nursing home stay. Unfortunately, many Florida residents believe that because they are Medicare recipients, Medicare will cover nursing home care. The reality is, though, that the elder’s options for coverage for nursing home expenses are limited to self pay, long-term health care insurance policies or Medicaid eligibility. Without a coverage plan in place for a nursing home stay, Florida seniors can be subject to devastating bills with the potential to harm everything they have spent their life working for or to cause them to be discharged from the nursing home.

• Could Medicaid planning be the best option? Possibly, because while long-term care insurance may be a viable option for some seniors, in the later stages of life it may be difficult to qualify for coverage, or the premiums may be so high it makes the coverage inaccessible. This may leave Medicaid eligibility as perhaps the strongest option for Florida seniors to have to be sure that their nursing home stays are covered. Medicaid eligibility, however, can require some advanced planning, such as the creation of an irrevocable trust to shelter assets from being considered in terms of a person’s Medicaid eligibility. As Medicaid has a look-back period from the date of application, it can be necessary to conduct this planning well in advance of the time nursing home care is indicated.

Our office can assist you with Medicaid planning to help assure the care you need is available, when you need it. Please reach out to us today to schedule an appointment.

At Britton G. Swank, P.A., our mission is to guide you in the right direction to help you provide for yourself and your loved ones no matter what the future holds. We want to help you control the assets you have, leave them to people and causes you care about, when you want, in the way you want. We can help you take care of yourself and those you love in the event of disability due to illness, injury or old age. No matter what risks unfold, we can help give you the comfort of knowing you are prepared. We want you to feel good about your future and the future of your loved ones.