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Elder Law

Elder Law, Long-Term Care & MedicAid Planning

Finding an evaluating nursing home and long-term care options for someone you love is one of the most difficult jobs there is.  Moreover, the search for a quality nursing home often occurs under the gun - when the hospital or rehabilitation center is threatening discharge or when a loved one needs more care than can be provided at home.  The facility must be evaluated for the quality of care provided, ease of loved ones to visit, staffing levels, food quality, the opportunity to participate in activities, and many other facets.  Unfortunately, cost is often an unpleasant but necessary part of the equation.

The high cost of long-term care has made planning a critically important issue for most middle class seniors and their families.  In fact, most seniors will likely require some form of long-term care. Sadly, many of them are unprepared for the significant financial burdens it places on their family’s hard earned savings.  Financial devastation looms large for many families who may be facing ongoing care at a rate of $10,000 or more per month.

Long-Term Care Options
While some seniors are able to afford private pay care, the cost of long-term care will wipe out savings of all but the wealthiest families in a matter of years.  Those who have planned ahead by purchasing long-term care insurance have a degree of certainty and peace of mind, knowing that they have a lesser need to rely on other sources in the future.  Unfortunately, many can’t afford the high cost of long term care insurance or worse, because of age of medical condition cannot qualify for long term care insurance altogether.  If you do have long-term care insurance, you should be aware of what your policy covers.  Many policies have high deductibles or provide for only a short period of care in facility.  In fact, many who have long-term care insurance still have to resort to Medicaid to pay for their care.
 
Medicaid Eligibility
The other option to pay for care is Medicaid.  A joint federal-state program, Medicaid provides medical assistance to low-income individuals, including those who are 65 or older, disabled or blind.  Medicaid is the single largest payer of nursing home bills in America and serves as the option of last resort for people who have no other way to finance their long-term care.  Although Medicaid eligibility rules vary from state to state, federal minimum standards and guidelines must be observed.
 
While Medicaid eligibility with respect to long-term care was not difficult in the past, there has been a steady drift towards more complex and restrictive rules, the latest being the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 which went into effect in 2006.  These changes have resulted in complex eligibility requirements for those in need of Medicaid benefits.  It’s no longer as easy as reviewing one’s bank statements.  There are a myriad of regulations involving look-back periods, income caps, transfer penalties and waiting periods to plan around.
 
Our law firm has the experience and the expertise to help avoid the financial ruin associated with the high cost of long-term care.  Contact us today to start the process of understanding the issues surrounding Medicaid eligibility and to implement the planning and application process.


With offices in East Lansing and Troy, the Fraleigh Law Firm, PLLC assists clients with Estate Planning, Agriculture and Farm Law, Business & Succession Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Elder Law, and Special Needs Trusts throughout the state of Michigan, including Lansing, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, Troy, Saginaw, Frankenmuth, Muskegon, Sandusky, Bad Axe, Gaylord, Sault Ste. Marie, Waterford, Howell, Farmington Hills, Novi, and Port Huron in Ingham County, Eaton County, Clinton County, Shiawassee County, Livingston County, Ogemaw County, Gratiot County, Lapeer County, Sanilac County, Oakland County, and Newaygo County.

Fraleigh Law Firm, PLLC, is a Michigan company, providing legal services only in the State of Michigan.



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6200 Pine Hollow Drive, Suite 200, East Lansing, MI 48823
| Phone: 800-928-0034
900 Wilshire Drive, 202, Troy, MI 48084
| Phone: 800-928-0034

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