Long Term Care Planning

As I continue to advise clients in my elder law practice, I realize how important it is for families to seek advice from an Elder Law attorney as their loved ones need more and more assistance.  Whether the loved one is needing long term care in a skilled nursing home, assisted living, memory care unit, adult foster care, or care in their home, 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 reside 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 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 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.  Full long term Medicaid will only pay for care in a licensed skilled nursing home.

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.

The firm continues to counsel clients on elder law and Medicaid planning issues regularly as part of its estate planning, probate, and trust administration practice.  This letter, as well as all prior letters, are posted on our website at www.smithbovill.com.  Please check our web site for any updates to the newsletter and additional information regarding elder law.  This letter, and the information on our web site, is intended to be for informational purposes only.  As a result of the constantly changing laws in the Medicaid area, the information provided may change.  I would be pleased to discuss this, or any other Medicaid or elder law issues, in more detail.