Long Term Care Planning in Michigan
As I continue to consult with and give guidance to clients regarding long term care of a loved one, I realize how complex and confusing this area has become. The laws continue to change and the choices for care continue to grow. It is no longer a discussion as to whether a loved one will qualify for Medicaid to assist with their care in a nursing home. The discussion now begins with a determination as to the level of care the loved one requires. This level of care is what determines what assistance is available and where the loved one will need to receive the care.
If a person does not meet the level of care required to obtain Medicaid in a nursing home, the loved one needs to look for care being provided at home, in an adult foster care, or maybe in an assisted living. This care is usually paid for by the individual as private pay. There may be limited assistance from the VA when a Veteran, or a spouse of a Veteran, has medical costs that exceed their income. The eligibility requirements should be discussed with an elder law attorney to determine whether this benefit will provide the care that is needed.
The Medicaid MI Choice Waiver program may assist in paying for medical care in some assisted living facilities. This program, however, has is an income cap for the person needing care. Many times the income exceeds the allowed amount preventing any assistance. Additionally, this benefit does not pay for the room and board, it pays for the medical care they are being provided.
Medicaid for nursing homes is a government benefit to assist with the increasing cost of care in a nursing home. When a spouse is needing nursing home care, the community spouse (the one remaining in the home) should meet with an elder law attorney to discuss ways to preserve the assets they have so that the spouse in the community can maintain their standard of living.
As a person’s needs increase, the loved ones will want to discuss all of these options with not only their medical care provider, but also an elder law attorney, to determine the best planning needed.
Sharon A. Burgess and Danelle E. Harrington practice in the areas of probate/estate planning, long term care planning and elder law, and business and real estate transactions at SMITH BOVILL, P.C. Their articles are intended to introduce various issues arising within this field of practice and are not intended to replace individual legal advice. If you have questions, please contact Sharon or Danelle at one of the firm’s two convenient office locations in Frankenmuth and Saginaw.