As elder law practitioners, we are aware that nothing is less pleasant than contemplating a day when you may be too disabled to make decisions for yourself. Yet putting together a formal plan now, while everything is going well, comes with a variety of benefits. Speak with an experienced New York estate planning attorney before making significant decisions.
Over half of the elderly population will eventually require paid long-term care.
Here’s everything you need to know about putting together a long-term care plan.
The Benefits of a Long-Term Care Plan
A plan helps you communicate your wishes and needs to your loved ones.
If your spouse is healthy, then putting a plan in place can help your spouse maintain control if you prefer that to giving your adult children control.
This also gives you the opportunity to pre-vet care facilities and services. You can provide your loved ones with a list of care providers you trust so they can choose from your list of pre-approved caregivers when the time comes.
Long-Term Care Options for Long Island Residents
The first option is a nursing home. Nursing homes are rarely an ideal option. They’re the most expensive and often generate the worst outcomes.
On average Long Island nursing homes cost between $96,360 per year and $142,350 per year. Any good plan will account for the number of years you might need care. The average for nursing homes is 2.5 years.
In-home care tends to be the preferred option. This could include bringing in the help of a professional caregiver or using a service like adult day care to lift some of the burden from family members and friends who are serving as caregivers. The average cost of this care is $23,400 for an in-home caregiver and $19,500 for an adult day care. Seniors using this form of care typically need it for three to five years. Note this only covers care costs, not the costs of housing, food, or utilities.
Medicaid will cover all three types of care, but there are strict income limits associated with relying on Medicaid alone. A Medicare lawyer can help you protect as many of your assets as possible if you need to rely on Medicare.
Having an informal caregiver such as a friend or family member is an option, but it is often one that takes an extensive financial and physical toll on the caregiver. It is rarely an ideal option.
Long-term Care Payment Options in New York
When planning for long-term care, payment is an important consideration. Long-term care planning can be daunting, so it is recommended to consult an experienced New York elder lawyer before you start the process. Here are some of the common long-term care payment options:
Medicare pays for skilled services or rehabilitation care in a nursing home for a maximum period of 100 days, and other skilled in-home health services. However, Medicare won’t pay for non-skilled help with daily living activities, which make up the majority of long-term care services. These expenses must be paid out-of-pocket if they aren’t covered by any private or public insurance.
Medicaid is available for long-term services. But eligibility is determined based on one’s income. A recipient must also meet the state’s eligibility requirements. These eligibility requirements include the amount of ADL (Activities of Daily Living) assistance the person requires
Other federal programs
Other federal programs, such as those administered through the Department of Veterans Affairs (Older Americans Act), will cover long-term care services. However, these programs are only available for certain populations and conditions.
Private health insurance
Most private plans do not offer long-term health coverage. Even those that do tend to cover areas similar to Medicare.
Additional private payment options
In addition to the payment options described above, you have other options including reverse mortgages and life insurance options to pay for long-term care.
The information provided above provides a basic overview of the long-term care planning and payment process. It is recommended that you consult with an experienced New York elder law lawyer to determine which option is best for your needs. An experienced New York elder attorney can provide you with legal guidance about long-term care that is tailored to your specific circumstances. Contact Schlessel PLLC today to schedule a consultation.
What should be included in your Long Island long-term care plan?
While you should discuss your individual plan with your attorney, plans could include:
- Your will
- A living trust
- Medical power of attorney
- Durable power of attorney
- Long-term care insurance
- Life insurance
- Gathered assets
You should also designate a personal care coordinator. This can be a trusted family member or adult child who will get copies of all of your documents as well as a list of your personal financial resources.
You’ll also need to assemble your team. This should ideally include:
- A professional care manager
- A long-term care and financial planning specialist
- An elder law attorney.
If you are ready to start your planning, contact our offices today. We can help ensure that your final years are lived out in dignity, and in accordance with your wishes.