When you start to reach an advanced age, you may find it difficult to take care of all your day-to-day needs. An assisted living facility may enter your mind when you think about the subject, but you probably do not want to leave the comfort and familiarity of your own home.
This is fully understandable, and in this post, we will look at an approach that can be taken to address the situation.
Medicare and Long-Term Care Costs
Medicare is the source of health insurance for almost all senior citizens in the United States, and it provides a strong underpinning. However, it does not pay for the custodial care that assisted living facilities provide, and it does not cover in-home care that is provided by a paid caregiver.
The lack of coverage is a big deal, because long-term care is very expensive. The median charge for a year in a nursing home in the Hartford area was $167,900 last year, and the figure was $57,200 for a home health aide.
About a third of the people that require paid care need it for at least two years, so expenses can potentially consume a significant portion of your legacy.
Medicaid is another jointly administered federal/state government health insurance program that will pay for long-term custodial care. Since it is only available to people that can demonstrate a significant level of financial need, there is a low asset limit of $1600 in our state.
Your home is not a countable asset, but there is a $906,000 equity limit. Household items, personal effects, one motor vehicle, heirloom jewelry, wedding rings, and engagement rings are exempt as well.
You could give assets to loved ones or fund an irrevocable trust to develop a financial profile that will allow for Medicaid eligibility. However, advance planning is necessary, because the divestitures must be completed at least five years before you submit your application.
Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE)
Now that we have provided the necessary background information, we can look at the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders. This is a Medicaid waiver program that will pay for in-home care if you meet the eligibility requirements.
This program can provide an ideal solution. You can get the level of quality care that you need provided by a qualified professional, and you never have to leave your own home.
Caregiver Child Exemption
While we are on this subject, we should explain the child caregiver exemption. Let’s say that you would require nursing home care, but you can stay at home because one of your children is acting as a live-in caregiver.
If they have been providing the care for at least two years, you could give the home to your child, and the look-back would be waived if you apply for Medicaid.
There is also the matter of Medicaid estate recovery. You can qualify for Medicaid or the CHCPE if you own your home, but Medicaid could put a lien on the home after your death. However, if you give the home to your child using the caregiver exemption, it would be protected.
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