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. The annual cost of nursing home care can be more than $150,000. Unless you are covered by a long-term care insurance policy, most people pay with their own resources until they become eligible for Medicaid.
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.
We can assist you with the planning necessary to protect your assets. The typical planning involves the preparation of an irrevocable trust. The trust can be funded with your residence, rental property, and cash and investment accounts. Retirement assets cannot be transferred into these trusts without adverse income tax consequences. The trust provisions allow you to receive income distributions during your lifetime. You would not be entitled to principal distributions. Under current Massachusetts law, the assets in the trust would be protected from the costs of long-term care five years after the date of the transfer to the trust.