Lawyers Serving the Catawba Valley
You've worked hard all your life to provide for yourself and your family, and perhaps to leave a legacy behind for those you love. But, unfortunately, if your health declines and you need long-term care, you may be forced to spend your hard-earned savings to pay for your care instead of providing for your loved ones.
Attorney Susan Williams Matthews can help you and your family plan for the possibility of long-term care, such as nursing home care, so that you can preserve your assets for your family.
Nursing home care in Catawba County can cost $75,000 per year or more. Many seniors and their family members are surprised to learn that Medicare, which provides health insurance for seniors, does not pay for extended nursing home care. This means that if you have Medicare and find yourself in need of extended nursing home care, you may have to pay out-of-pocket. Few people can afford to pay these costs for an extended period of time.
Medicaid, not to be confused with Medicare, is federal health insurance for those in need of financial assistance. Medicaid, unlike Medicare, covers the cost of extended nursing home care. However, in order to qualify for Medicaid, you must demonstrate that you have limited assets.
A common misperception is that you can wait and transfer your assets if something happens and you want to qualify for Medicaid to pay the cost of your extended nursing home care. Medicaid has a 5-year "look-back" period from the date you apply. If you have transferred or gifted any of your assets during that 5-year "look-back" period (other than for their fair market value), then you may be disqualified from receiving Medicaid for a period of time. Failure to qualify for Medicaid wreaks havoc on many families as loved ones often find themselves having to scramble to pay for a relative's care.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this outcome with a little planning. The strict "look-back" rules are designed to protect the system against fraud—not to prevent you from providing for your family. The law provides a number of tools for you to preserve assets for your loved ones while still being able to qualify for Medicaid for the care you need.
Your Medicaid planning needs will depend on a number of factors, such as whether you need nursing home care now, or are planning for the future; the amount and type of assets you own; whether you have a spouse who will be remaining in your home; whether you have any minor or disabled children; and more.
Our firm takes pride in helping North Carolina families evaluate and plan for their needs, including Medicaid planning. We take the time to listen to your concerns and goals and help you put in place the Medicaid planning that will best serve your interests and those of your loved ones.
We invite you to contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help you with your Medicaid planning needs.