San Antonio Long-Term Care Planning
The costs of health care keep escalating as we get older. It’s more than the need for increased doctor visits, medication, and even more than the occasional hospital stay. The costs really start to explode when we require ongoing care in the simple basics of living. Long-term care planning is the strategy aimed at meeting the financial costs incurred by those needs.
A San Antonio long-term care planning lawyer from the Law Office of Paul D. Hardy can work with you on a sound program to protect your assets and finance your medical needs. Call us at (210) 405-1985 today.
Assisted living facilities are a common example of long-term health care, but other expenses can arise even as we still live in our homes. What if you need a home health aide to come in for a few hours a day to help with preparing meals and perhaps bathing? Losing the ability to drive is a common part of growing old. Depending on your circumstances, an aide might be needed to take you places.
Here in the San Antonio area, the average cost of a home health aide is $18 per hour. It adds up in a hurry. The person who needs more than someone occasionally looking in on them will see the costs add up even faster. The costs of an assisted living facility in San Antonio average out at about $2,770 per month.
Are you counting on Medicare? There are some expenses associated with long-term care that Medicare may help with, but not the big-ticket items. You might get coverage for some types of in-home care, hospice care, and maybe a short stay at assisted living. But the long-term stay at assisted living? The one that can completely eat up your remaining assets? Medicare will not be there. Nor will traditional private health insurance plans.
Options to Finance Long-term Care Planning
The most straightforward way of paying for long-term health care is to take out insurance specifically designed for these expenses. Most people begin to seek out long-term care insurance (LTC) in their mid-fifties.
If your health is good, this can work. But insurance companies can be as stringent in who they approve LTC for as they can be with life insurance. The person with pre-existing conditions may have a hard time getting a policy approved or finding one that’s affordable.
Another possibility is to take out what’s called “hybrid” LTC insurance policy, one that doubles as an annuity. These are purchased with one lump sum and have the added benefit of allowing you to recoup the annuity, even if you don’t need long-term care.
Medicaid is also an option. But this is not the same as Medicare. The latter is a program that everyone, regardless of income, qualifies for. Medicaid is for those whose income falls below a certain level. There are rules in place that govern what steps people can take to put themselves below the income level
A good Medicaid planning attorney can help advise you on a strategy and perhaps work with you to set up a trust where you pay for the long-term care expenses that you’re able to and allow Medicaid to pick up the rest.