Times change, and different eras take on different identities. Right around now, we are experiencing a very interesting phenomenon in the United States.
The baby boomer generation is comprised of people who were born between 1946 and 1964. During this postwar interim, an unusual number of babies were born as soldiers returned home.
As we sit here in 2016 these people are either at retirement age, or they are approaching retirement age. This is resulting in a rapidly aging population. To put this into perspective, the Social Security Administration is processing around 10,000 applications from newly minted senior citizens every day, and the number is not going to decrease anytime soon.
Elder Law Attorneys
Legal professionals usually focus on certain specialties. Our firm is dedicated to estate planning and elder law. Elder law attorneys help people prepare for the challenges that they may face toward the end of their lives.
Because of the fact that so many people are reaching their senior years at the same time, elder law attorneys are very much in demand among people who understand the need to plan ahead. One of the major sources of concern is the matter of long-term care.
Medicare and Living Assistance
The reason why elder law and estate planning are connected is because you have to prepare for the expenses that you may face toward the end of your life if you are going to have a suitable legacy left to pass along to the people that you love. If you wind up handing your savings over to a nursing home at the end of your life, the outcome is going to be less than ideal for the family that you are leaving behind.
Most seniors will enter their retirement years with Medicare coverage. Medicare does provide a solid foundation when it comes to health care insurance, but you do have to be aware of the fact that it does not pay for everything in full.
Part A is the portion of the program that pays for hospitalization. There is no premium for this coverage, but there is a deductible her benefit period, and there could be co-payments for long hospital stays.
There is a monthly premium for Medicare Part B coverage, which is the portion of the program that pays for visits to doctors and outpatient care. The amount of the monthly premium is right around $105 for most people at the present time, but high income earners pay more.
Plus, there is a relatively modest deductible of $166 per year in 2016, but the benefit recipient must pay 20 percent of the Medicare approved charges out-of-pocket.
In addition to these expenses, there are also premiums, deductibles, and co-payments for the prescription drug portion of the program.
When you add it all up, unless you are extraordinarily healthy during your senior years, the out-of-pocket expenses can pile up significantly. You should certainly anticipate this when you are looking ahead toward the future, and you can talk about solutions if you consult with an elder law attorney.
These expenses are only part of the picture. The Medicare program does not pay for a stay in a nursing home or assisted living community, and it won’t help if you require assistance from a professional in-home caregiver late in your life.
All of these options are expensive, but nursing home care is truly exorbitant. About one fourth of people who are at least 85 reside in nursing homes, and in Connecticut, the average annual cost for a room in a nursing home is well in excess of $100,000.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
Elder law attorneys help people address the long-term care issue. The solution for most people is Medicaid, which is a need-based government health insurance program that will pay for living assistance.
The “need-based” part is quite relevant. You can’t qualify for Medicaid if you have more than $2000 in countable assets in your own name, though some things that you own are not counted. Plus, the healthy spouse can keep a certain amount if his or her spouse applies for Medicaid to pay for long-term care.
It takes careful planning to navigate through all the rules and regulations as you take steps to keep your assets in your family. This is what elder law attorneys do for their clients.
Let’s Get Started
We can help you understand how to preserve your assets with future long-term care costs in mind if you have concerns. To set up a consultation, you can give us a call at 860-548-1000. If you would prefer to send us a message electronically, drop by our contact page.
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