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Torrance Estate Planning & Probate > Blog > Wills > Strategies To Pay For Long Term Care

Strategies To Pay For Long Term Care


If you’re creating an estate plan, you don’t have to only plan for when you are gone. Part of estate planning includes paying for long term care: a time when you may be alive, but be in need of long term or nursing home care. Because of the significant expense of such care, it is something that needs thought and consideration.

The cost of nursing home care will obviously depend on where the facility is, and what level of care and attention the resident needs, but as a general average, it is estimated that nursing home care costs about $300 per day.

There are a few ways that you can go about planning to pay for long term care, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Using Medi-Cal

Medicaid, which in California is called Medi-Cal, will pay for long term care. But it is also need-based, mostly for those who are destitute and if you have any kind of decently valued asset, you may not qualify for Medi-Cal.

However, some assets, like your home, a vehicle, or assets that you can’t immediately access, are exempt, and won’t hurt your eligibility for Medi-Cal. So long as you do so with enough time before applying for Medi-Cal, you can transfer your assets into a trust, and not have those assets count as “yours” for the purpose of qualifying for Medi-Cal.

Medicare (which is different from Medi-Cal) will pay only for limited facility care, and only for those who have an immediate illness or injury. It is not for regular, day to day care for people who are just too sick to care for themselves on an ongoing basis. Medicare will pay for 35 hours of in-home care per week, but with a 20% deductible.

Getting Rid of Things?

You can’t just get rid of your assets or property, to qualify for Medi-Cal. There is a 30 month lookback period; anything you take out of your name or transfer during that time period, will still be considered an asset of yours, if and when you apply for Medi-Cal.

Using Life or Long Term Care Insurance

There are other ways to pay for long term care, if you plan ahead.

Insurance can be expensive, but more affordable if you procure coverage early enough and when you’re healthy enough. Insurance can also help you pay for modifications to your home, or other services, like homemakers.

Home Loans and Reverse Mortgages

Homeowners may want to use home equity, or get a reverse mortgage to help them make payments for long term care, especially if they are living in the home anyway, and if they would be OK with in how care instead of a facility.

Be careful though: payouts from home equity or reverse mortgages can end up disqualifying people from Medi-Cal or other public benefits.

Planning for long term care is the smart thing to do. Let us help you. Call the Torrance will and estate attorneys at Samuel Ford Law today.




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