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Plan Now to Avoid Paying Nursing Home Costs

December 1, 2010


You have spent the majority of your life working and building your nest egg so that your retirement will be well funded. Unfortunately, retirement comes at a time when the possibility of catastrophic illness is more likely. Of all Americans aged 65 or older, approximately 43% will enter a nursing home during their lifetime. Given that the average yearly cost of nursing home care is $100,000 and that the average stay will last 2 ½ years, planning for this need is crucial, as long term care costs will deplete your nest egg at an alarming rate. Planning ahead will mean the difference between spending your nest egg to finance your care and preserving your nest egg for your family.

Long term nursing home care is not paid for by Medicare or Medicare Supplemental Insurance. While Medicare may provide benefits for a short time period, once Medicare benefits end, the nursing home resident must find another source of payment. Medicaid benefits are available to help pay for nursing home care, but they are only available once eligibility requirements, which include strict asset limits, have been met.

Recent changes in Medicaid law have significantly reduced last minute asset protection opportunities. While there are still a few beneficial options available if you fail to plan ahead, they apply only in very specific situations and are not commonly available. The only surefire way to…

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by: Gina M. Barry

December 2010

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