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What is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care refers to the services and supports needed when the ability to care for oneself has been reduced by disability, chronic illness, or aging.  It can range from assistance in performing basic activities of daily living to highly skilled medical care in a controlled environment.  The annual cost of nursing home care can be more than $120,000.  Unless you are covered by a long term care insurance policy, most people pay out of their own pockets until they become eligible for Medicaid.  We can assist you with the planning necessary to protect your assets for you and your family, and to ensure you receive the benefits that you are entitled to under the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

 Medicaid is a joint federal - state program, and basically the only insurance to cover the costs of long term nursing home care.  You must meet certain asset limitations to be eligible for Medicaid.  Every state operates its own Medicaid system, but in order to receive federal funding, each state’s systems must conform to the federal guidelines.

 Medicare on the other hand is an entitlement program.  All retirees who receive social security benefits also receive Medicare as their health insurance.   

The federal government and most states are continually changing the eligibility requirements for Medicaid.  The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 significantly changed the rules governing the treatment of asset transfers.  Practitioners often use the phrase “Medicaid Planning” when referring to the planning involved to protect your assets and/or to qualify for the various state program benefits.