The term Medicaid attorneys may sound kind of confusing at first. Why would anyone need legal representation to apply for Medicaid? It’s a government run health insurance program for low income individuals, right? It’s not a legally complicated matter.
It is true that a large part of the Medicaid program is devoted to ordinary health care for people with very limited resources. However, there is another facet to the program that many people do not understand until they start to look ahead toward their senior years.
If you have paid into the program sufficiently throughout your working life, you will qualify for Medicare when you reach the age of 65. Though there are out-of-pocket costs to contend with, this health insurance program will pay for most of the health care expenses that you incur once you are qualified.
Since Medicare exists to address the medical needs of senior citizens, you would assume that it would pay for a stay in a nursing home or an assisted living facility. In fact, this is not the case at all. The program will pay for medical care and convalescent and rehabilitative care. However, it will not pay for the long-term custodial care you would receive in an assisted living community or a nursing home.
Paying out-of-pocket is not a very pleasant proposition when you understand the facts. Genworth Financial does a great job keeping track of the current state of long term care costs around the country. They drill down state-by-state and even city by city. Since we are Mount Clemens, Michigan Medicaid attorneys, so we will look at the state of affairs in our area.
In 2017, the median cost for a private room in a nursing home in the Detroit area was $8669 per month. If you get out the calculator, this equates to $104,025 per year. If you are willing to sacrifice a little privacy for some savings, you can get a semi-private room, but the difference is minimal. The median annual cost for a semi-private room was $94,626 in 2017.
For a one bedroom unit in an assisted living community the median charge was $43,800 a year. Of course, some people can stay in their homes if they can get the help that they need from a professional caregiver. The median cost for a home health aide in Detroit in 2017 was $51,480 a year.
Debunking a Myth
When you understand the fact that Medicare will not pay for long-term care, and you see just how expensive living assistance is, a clear picture emerges. Though it is a source of concern, many people assume that it is unlikely that they will ever need help with their activities of daily living. They resolve to manage somehow, even if things become a bit more difficult.
Unfortunately, this is a “head in the sand” perspective that can result in some extremely negative consequences. The United States Department of Health and Human Services maintains a very useful website called LongTermCare.gov. They share a great deal of important information about living assistance and the costs that are involved. According to their site, seven out of 10 people that are turning 65 on any given day will someday require help with their day-to-day needs. As you can see, the need for living assistance is not a possibility; it is a likelihood.
There is another aging statistic that is important to understand when you are thinking about potential nursing home costs. Everyone has heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but many people are very surprised when they find out how widespread it is.
The term “oldest old” is used within the geriatric care community to describe people who are at least 85 years of age. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 40 to 45 percent of people in this age group have contracted the disease. This is a telling statistic, and it is likely that you will live this long once you reach the age of 68. In fact, the ten-year age grouping comprised of people between 85 and 95 years of age grew faster than any other between 2000 and 2010.
The Medicaid Solution
Now that we have set the stage, we can explain why Medicaid attorneys are so important. Though Medicare will not pay for long term care, Medicaid will pick up the tab if you can qualify. Though there are modest income and asset limits, there are legal strategies that can be implemented to obtain eligibility without losing anything in the process.
If you would like to explore them, we would be more than glad to help. You can set up an appointment to speak with one of our Medicaid attorneys if you give us a call at 586-493-7661. There is also a contact page on this website that you can use to get in touch with us electronically.