The good news for Florida residents is that people are living longer than ever. Retirement years are full of opportunities for seniors to enjoy activities of all kinds. At some point, however, they must think about long term care planning for the likelihood that some type of assisted living or medical needs will be a reality in their lives.
Reports are that an expected long-term nursing home stay might exceed two years on average. For most people, assisted living with medical care can far exceed available assets to privately pay for it. This makes planning ahead a critical step in protecting loved ones and themselves. States offer Medicaid programs to provide financial assistance, but it must be noted that the limitations to choices and availability of facilities can directly affect the comfort and care afforded. Rehabilitation services in the short term are usually covered by Medicare or regular insurance plans.
Long-term care insurance is a private policy that pays a nursing home’s daily rate based on the amount of coverage purchased. Anticipating the need by exploring insurance options ahead of time can provide peace of mind and allow for greater choices regarding family assets and income. Knowledgeable estate planning steps provide asset protection for seniors while creating a safety net for care should the need arise.
There is no doubt timing is an important factor in long term care planning. Unless it is an emergency situation, doing nothing until the need arises is risky. Writing checks or gifting assets without a clear understanding of what that means in the long run can cause unnecessary expense and difficulties.
Families will benefit from experienced understanding of the ins and outs of this type of planning. Establishing relationships that can help senior citizens navigate through the options available for their long-term care will allow for a confident approach to the future.
Source: Fiftyplusadvocate.com, “What you should know about paying nursing home care” Linda T. Cammuso, Nov. 22, 2013