A lot of people are not aware of just how much a stay in a nursing home costs and they don’t especially care, and this is often for one of two reasons. There are always going to be individuals who feel as though they will avoid all challenging circumstance, reasoning that these types of things only happen to “other people.” And there are those who mistakenly assume that Medicare will cover everything once they reach the age of 65.
The reality is that Medicare does not cover extended nursing home stays, and statistically speaking there is a very real possibility that you will spend some time in such a facility. The “oldest old,” which is the term that is used in geriatric circles to describe people 85 years of age and older, is the fastest growing segment of the population. And one out of every four elders who reach this age are residing in a nursing home at any given time.
As for cost, the national average for a year in a private room in a nursing home in 2010 was well over $80,000. Many people would have difficulty paying for a few years in a nursing home considering the cost, and though Medicare does not pay for long-term care Medicaid will under certain circumstances.
To qualify for Medicaid you can’t have countable assets exceeding $1,500 in Indiana, but your home, your car, and your personal possessions don’t count under certain circumstances. In addition, if you were to remain healthy when your spouse was in need of nursing home care, you do not have to surrender your countable assets that exceed $1,500. You can keep half of the shared assets that existed when your spouse entered the nursing home up to $109,560. And you can retain a minimum of $21,912 even if this amount is more than half of the shared assets.
Medicaid is a viable option for some people, and the best way to explore the possibility is through a consultation with an experienced elder law attorney.
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.