There is a very interesting demographic shift unfolding at the present time. During the postwar years of 1946 to 1964, an extraordinary number of babies were born. This phenomenon was dubbed the “baby boom.” When you fast forward to the present, these people are now entering their senior years.
According to the United States Social Security Administration, there are about 10,000 applications for benefits received every day. This volume is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. As Mount Clemens elder law attorneys, we focus on matters that are of interest to older people. Since the population is aging at a rapid pace, firms like ours are more relevant than ever.
The vast majority of senior citizens will qualify for Medicare when they reach the age of eligibility. At the time of this writing, it stands at 65. However, it should be noted that there have been discussions about raising this in an effort to cut down on government spending.
Medicare is a solid source of health insurance, but it does not cover a stay in a nursing home or an assisted living facility. This is a very significant piece of bad news that Mount Clemens elder law attorneys are forced to share with their clients.
Most senior citizens will someday need assistance with their activities of daily living. In fact, the figure is 70 percent according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. There are those who can rely on family members and friends to provide the help that they need, but in other cases, full-time residence in an assisted living facility of some sort will be required.
There are not too many people that can get out a checkbook and easily pay for a stay in a nursing home. As we have stated, we are Mount Clemens elder law attorneys. According to Genworth Financial, the median monthly charge for a private room in a nursing home in the Mount Clemens area is just over $100,000 in 2018.
For many people, the solution to the long-term care situation is Medicaid eligibility. This health insurance program for people with very limited financial resources will pick up the tab for long-term care if you can qualify. Though there is a very low asset limit of $2000, there are some things that are not considered to be countable assets.
Your home is not counted, but there is an equity limit that is adjusted to account for ongoing economic shifts. During the 2018 calendar year, the Medicaid home equity limit in the state of Michigan is $572,000. However, it should be noted that the Medicaid program can seek reimbursement from homeowners during the probate process after a former recipient passes away.
Home furnishings and effects and personal property are not considered to be countable assets for Medicaid purposes. One motor vehicle that is used as a primary source of transportation can be retained, and an applicant can have up to $1500 in whole life insurance. The same amount can be set aside for final expenses.
In many cases, a married person will apply for Medicaid to pay for long-term care, but their spouse will still be living independently. Under these circumstances, the spouse has certain protections.
The family home can be retained by the spouse with no equity limit at all. There is also a community spouse resource allowance. This allows the healthy spouse to retain half of the shared countable assets up to a certain limit. In Michigan, the limit is $123,600 in 2018. There is also a minimum amount that the healthy spouse can keep, even if it is more than half of the total shared assets. In our state, this figure is $24,720 during the 2018 calendar year.
There is another rule that benefits the healthy spouse. If a healthy spouse relies on his or her spouse’s income to maintain a basic standard of living, he or she would be entitled to a Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance. This would allow the healthy spouse to receive some (or all) of the institutionalized spouse’s income. In Michigan in 2018, the maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance is $3090.
We Are Here to Help!
This is a basic overview of the Medicaid parameters. As you can see, there is a lot to digest, but as Mount Clemens elder law attorneys, we can answer all of your questions. We can also devise a strategy that can lead to Medicaid eligibility, even if you have significant assets. To schedule a consultation, give us a call at 586-493-7661.