Medicare and Long-Term Care For Seniors
By Rick Law. Lead Attorney at the Estate Planning Center of Law Elder Law in the West Suburban Aurora, IL. Serving Seniors and their Families in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Will, DeKalb and Cook Counties in Illinois. Medicare does not care about in-home care, assisted-living care, or nursing home care. There are no Medicare reimbursement codes for that kind of care. So imagine your loved one with Alzheimer’s starts to have memory issues that cause her to be unsafe in her own environment. She needs to have someone come in to be with he or she needs to go somewhere where she is supervised and the environment is controlled. Medicare does not care about providing that kind of care. That means your loved one with Alzheimer’s will have to pay for her care out of her pocket, out of her savings. If she had a long-term-care policy—she didn’t, and most people don’t—it may have helped pay for her needed care. With a long-term care policy, Medicare continues to pay for all the things that it paid for before: acute care. When she finally gets down to $2,000 or less of assets (because she’s a single individual), she can qualify for Medicaid nursing home benefits and she can move to a nursing home. On the other hand, your neighbor who has had a heart disease diagnosis, has had over $500,000 of health care provided by Medicare and hasn’t had to spend down all of her assets. The second person didn’t do anything wrong and when she had a heart attack, Medicare paid for her benefits. But the first example worked all of her life, saved her money, and also did everything right. Why should she be denied care? In 1965, a political decision was made that Medicare would cover acute care because those were the problems of the time. Now a couple of generations have passed, and the problems of the elderly are no longer just acute-care issues. Many seniors believe that Medicare will pay for their nursing home costs. After all, the language states that Medicare will pay for “skilled care,” and we refer to facilities as independent, assisted, and skilled. They are shocked to discover that the benefits they paid into nearly their entire lives will not pay for their “skilled care” in the nursing home. In both instances, these women paid into the Medicare system through contributions from employment income. However, the hard truth is that one will be able to access those benefits and one will not. Too many families needlessly lose everything they have. Don’t let that be you. If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options! Sincerely, Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees. Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!