Making plans to go into a nursing home is not on the top of many people’s list of fun activities, however it is a necessity to think through the options. In this day and age, nursing home care can become a very expensive proposition if you have not planned properly earlier in life. The time to plan for nursing home care is when you are still in good enough health to research the options and understand the costs. Nursing home expenses can be shocking if you have never looked into the details of long-term care.
Medicare is a potential option for people who need nursing home care, but only under limited conditions. Medicare will pay a portion of nursing home costs for Medicare beneficiaries who need rehabilitation services or skilled nursing. In order to be covered, you have to receive services from a Medicare certified skilled nursing home only after qualifying with a hospital stay. That means that you have to be in the hospital for a certain period of time before entering the nursing home. Currently, that is for at least three days.
Another government program that can be of assistance is Medicaid. This is a state and federal program that will pay for most nursing home costs for individuals who have limited assets and income. The eligibility does vary from state to state, and Medicaid will only pay for care in a facility that is certified by the government to provide the services to Medicaid recipients.
In the end, you really don’t want the government in control of your nursing home care. Instead, it makes sense to plan your estate in such a way as to cover the expenses using long-term care insurance or your own personal resources. That is why you should work with an estate planning attorney early on to develop a plan that will allow you to have control over your care in those later years. Leaving things to chance is not a good plan as you may end up living in a place that is not a good choice for you simply because you cannot afford to stay anywhere else.