One of the most important things you can resolve to do this year is to ensure your long-term care plan reflects what you need right now and in the future.

Did you know that less than half of all Americans have a current estate plan, and even fewer have a long-term care plan in place? These statistics are concerning because research tells us that over 70% of Americans over 65 years old will need some form of long-term care during their lifetime. Along with this, keep in mind that the current cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home in Ohio is around $7,000 per month, which only covers the cost of the room.

At over $80,000 per year in out-of-pocket costs for this type of care, most of us cannot afford to put off planning for the care that may be needed. In fact, we often find that many of our clients are surprised to learn that Medicare does not cover nursing care. Traditional Medicare only fully covers up to 20 days, and up to 100 days with a daily coinsurance payment of nursing care after a hospital stay. Be aware that it can be extremely expensive if you need long-term care in a facility or in your own home. This is why it may be important for Ohio seniors to have a long-term care plan in place as soon as possible.

Be aware that you limit your options for being able to afford long-term care without a long-term care plan created with your experienced elder law attorney.

Without a plan in place, the reality is that you may face the following:

• Rely on your own savings and expend them, which will cost you your legacy
• Lose your legacy to be able to afford the ever-rising cost of long-term care
• Try to buy long-term care insurance, although the premiums may be both expensive and unavailable if you wait too long or have an underlying health condition
• Rely on adult children, often called the “Sandwich Generation,” for financial support

With the help of an experienced Ohio elder law attorney, you can develop a long-term care plan to help you access public benefits for this needed assistance.

Medicaid, unlike Medicare, is a qualification program to help you afford care and not lose a lifetime of savings to meet your care needs. Unfortunately, many people will not qualify because their income and assets are “too high,” and they mistakenly believe they must pay for long-term care on their own. Now, it is true that when the money runs out, they can qualify for Medicaid coverage, but it does not have to be that way. Your Ohio attorney can help you navigate your questions and find your answers. In fact, if you are fortunate enough to have a family caregiver you rely on, your elder law attorney can help you create a relationship that allows you to get the services you need and provide financial compensation to the caregiver in a way that does not penalize you for accessing future needed benefits.

With all of this information, what should you do next?

Begin your long-term care planning. There are ways to qualify for Medicaid earlier, but it does require careful planning.

Port Legal’s mission is to provide the most comprehensive probate, trust, Medicaid, asset protection, and elder care legal help in central Ohio. Our office can assist with the planning necessary to achieve our client’s goals. While it may feel like an uncomfortable topic to broach, in the long run, helping loved ones plan for the future is critical. Elder care attorneys can help families navigate specialized areas of the law, including matters of long-term care, social security, and health care directives, so loved ones get what they need no matter where they are in the continuum of care.

We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.