Long Term Care
How To Protect Your Nest Egg From Medicaid Spend Down
Most people do not realize how important it is to protect your nest egg from Medicaid spend down. For more information please see information about i.e. the Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Protection Law.
- After one reaches 65 there is a 2 in 5 chance of having a nursing home stay.
- Compare this to having an automobile accident of 1 in 88 chance.
- The average nursing home stay is 2.4 years.
- Medicare covers 20 days or less in a nursing home after a three day hospital stay.
Medicaid Is Not A Solution
Medicaid reimburses only 80% of the total costs after spending down to $1,500 of the nursing home spouse's assets to be eligible. Lower reimbursement rates from Medicaid, quality of care, and availablity of nursing homes rooms are a concern when you are on Medicaid.
Long term care cover assistance in your home with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, transfering, meals, and housekeeping services, visiting nurses and/or home health aides who come to your home and services available in your community, such as adult day care including the cost of an assisted living and skilled nursing care.
Short term policies cover a period of one year or less with coverage available without an elimination period(on day one of a claim) and these policies allow the individual to be cared for at home.
If you receive Medicaid coverage for long-term care services, federal law requires states to recover the amount Medicaid spent on your behalf from your estate after you die. Your state’s probate law generally defines what an estate includes, but for the most part it includes all of the real and personal property you own when you die, such as your home and other assets. The state is required to recover the cost of long-term care services, including nursing home care and home and community-based services. But, states can choose to recover the cost of all the services Medicaid paid for if they wish to do so.
Estate recovery happens after the death of a Medicaid recipient who was either permanently institutionalized or age 55 and older when he or she received Medicaid services. Some estates are exempt from estate recovery. For example, if your spouse is still alive, your estate is exempt from recovery. In these cases, states may recover from the spouse’s estate after his or her death. Your heirs can also seek a hardship waiver from estate recovery.