Long Term Care and Medicaid Planning

Long term care is a generic term used to describe the medical or personal assistance you may need in the event you are unable to perform the activities of daily living without the assistance of another person. Long term care can involve home care, adult day care, assisted living, or nursing home care.

Medicare does not cover most long term care services. Medicare will cover up to one hundred days of nursing home care if you require skilled medical care and were hospitalized for three full days prior to admission to the nursing home. Medicare will completely pay your nursing home costs for the first twenty days. You will be required to pay the first $157.50 per day of nursing home costs for the remainder of the hundred day period.

Medicaid is a joint program of the federal and state governments that will pay certain long term care costs, including nursing home expenses, for those with very little assets. In order to qualify for Medicaid in Ohio an applicant can own no more than $2,000 in assets. The spouse of an applicant is allowed to keep one-half of the couple’s assets up to a maximum of $119,220.

Many individuals work hard their entire lives and save money to provide for their retirement and to leave a legacy for their children. Unfortunately, the costs of long term care can deplete their nest egg in a very short period of time leaving them impoverished. With proper planning, however, it is possible to preserve a substantial amount of assets for your family and still provide for your long term care needs and even qualify for Medicaid.