Elder law attorneys in Indianapolis IN focus on matters that are particularly relevant to senior citizens. Most elder law attorneys devote their time to assisting individual clients who are preparing for the eventualities of aging.
While there are other pressing elder law issues, the matter of long-term care costs is a top priority. For most, Medicaid will be the solution.
People are living longer than ever, with the age group comprised of people between 85 and 94 growing faster than any other ten-year grouping. Once you reach the age of 65, it becomes statistically probable that you will live into your 80’s.
As you reach an advanced age it becomes more and more likely that you will need living assistance. Sometimes this assistance can be provided in your home by family members, friends, and/or neighbors. However, a significant percentage of people who need help with their day-to-day needs reside in nursing homes and assisted living communities.
There is a gap of sorts in the Medicare program. Though most senior citizens are going to need long-term care eventually (according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services), Medicare doesn’t cover it.
Long-term care costs in Indiana are exorbitant, and they are continually rising each year. In 2012 the average cost for a year in an assisted living community was over $40,000, and a private room in a nursing home averaged over $90,000 annually.
Medicaid is a jointly run federal-state program that does pay for long-term care. It is a need-based program. If your assets exceed a certain amount, you cannot qualify.
This amount is just $1,500 in Indiana. Even though the majority of seniors retire with savings that exceed this amount, most elders in nursing homes are receiving Medicaid assistance.
How is this so? Basically, you spend all of your money on long-term care until you have less than $1,500 left, and you die penniless.
While this is the blunt reality, elder law attorneys can recommend steps that you can take in advance to spare yourself, and your family, from this fate.
Under Medicaid program regulations the value of your home, up to $536,000 in Indiana, does not count when Medicaid is evaluating your eligibility. You may also retain ownership of certain personal possessions, such as household effects, your wedding and engagement rings, heirloom jewelry, and your primary vehicle.
It would also be possible to give away assets to others rather than allowing the long-term care costs to absorb them. However, you have to plan ahead well in advance. You are penalized and your eligibility is delayed if you divest yourself of assets within 60 months of applying for Medicaid.
Elder law attorneys in Indianapolis IN understand the Medicaid rules and regulations through and through. They assist clients who want to qualify for Medicaid while simultaneously being able to preserve resources for their loved ones.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.