4 Steps to Help Plan for Disability
No one likes to think about the possibility of their own disability or the disability of a loved one. However, statistics are clear that we should all plan for this possibility. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 70% of Americans age 65 or older will need long term care during their lifetime. Not surprisingly, the likelihood of needing long term care increases with age. This is significant because Americans are living longer and care costs can quickly consume financial resources. A recent Harvard study indicates that 69% of single people and 34% of married couples would exhaust their assets after just 13 weeks in a nursing home.
There are four ways to pay for long term care:
- Private pay. Though not realistic for everyone, this option offers the greatest number of choices in care.
- Long term care insurance. If medically eligible and able to afford premiums, this is a good way to pay for some or all long term care costs.
- VA Benefits. Many veterans and their spouses are unaware that pension benefits may be available to them. Benefits may not cover the entire cost of care, but can help significantly.
- Medicaid. While not accepted by every care provider, Medicaid benefits can cover the entire cost of care for those who qualify. Always consult an experienced elder law attorney before beginning a Medicaid “spend-down.”
Here’s what you can do to be prepared:
Discuss options and plan early (while capacity is not an issue) so you and your loved ones can have peace of mind knowing they are prepared for whatever disability may come. Be aware of heightened health risks for those who work long hours caring for a spouse or family member, and include a paid care provider if possible.
Investigate insurance and VA benefits options that may be available. Consult an experienced elder law attorney, who will create a plan to safeguard personal wellbeing and property in the event of disability, and to allocate and protect assets that may be at risk of being depleted by out-of-pocket health care costs. Visitwww.pixtonlaw.com/rc for additional information about this topic.
Article Provided by
The Pixton Law Group