The True Cost of Long-Term Care in Michigan
We all hope to live long healthy lives, but this dream can be expensive, especially if you live in a nursing home in your old age. According to the National Center For Health Statistics, approximately 1.4 million Americans currently live in long-term care nursing homes across the country. In Michigan, the typical cost to rent a room in a nursing home that has two residents to a room and four to a bathroom is approximately $300 per day. But what is included in that price? The answer to this questions really varies from facility to facility, but often the price tag includes custodial care (meaning that the resident has help getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, and feeding), management of any medications that the resident needs, and all meals. Clearly the long-term care costs in Michigan will add up quickly and therefore it is a great idea to discuss your estate planning options with an experienced elder law attorney in order to ensure that you are in the best possible financial shape as you enter your golden years.
How Do Seniors Pay For Long-Term Care?
While the price tag associated with long-term care in Michigan can seem daunting, take comfort in the fact that there are several ways in which seniors pay for such care. The most commonly used options are briefly outlined below:
- Long-Term Insurance: Long-term insurance is an insurance product that helps pay for long-term care such a living in a nursing home in your old age. However, make sure that you completely understand the terms of your policy as some long-term insurance policies do not pay the full daily cost of living in a nursing home and others contain maximum benefit amounts.
- Self-Pay: Some seniors pay for their long-term care themselves by selling off their assets. However, we don’t generally recommend this path to our seniors as this strategy may eventually leave you without any money left at all.
- Medicaid: Medicaid is a need-based government program that pays for long-term care for qualifying seniors. At our law firm we do everything in our power that is legally and morally permissible in order to qualify our clients for Medicaid so that they can retain as much of their savings as possible.
Do Most Nursing Homes Take Medicaid? What About Medicare?
First off, it is important to note that there is a difference between Medicare and Medicaid. While these terms are often confused, it is important to keep them straight as they are very different government programs and are intended to help different segments of the American population. Medicare is an assistance program for seniors who are 65 and older (some younger people who are disabled also qualify). On the other hand, Medicaid is a need-based public assistance program designed for qualifying people of all ages. Seniors may qualify for one or both of these programs.
Additionally, keep in mind that Medicare generally does not cover stays in long-term care facilities, however, qualifying seniors are able to get help paying for this expense from their state’s Medicaid program. But do most nursing homes take Medicaid? The simply answer is that while not all nursing homes accept Medicaid, the majority of them do. Check with the specific home that you are interested in moving into to see if they accept Medicaid.
How Estate Planning Can Help Avoid Nursing Home Poverty
Although Michigan’s Medicaid system is there for seniors who need help paying for long-term care in their old age, it is still vital to engage in estate planning as early as possible in order to help avoid nursing home poverty. The best advice that we can give you is to start planning now. Begin by ordering our free Life Plan Report and learn how to make sure that you are getting the benefits that you are entitled to under programs like Medicaid and the Veterans Administration.
Need Legal Advice?
If you are interested in proactively planning for your financial future contact the Law Offices of David L. Carrier and set up a time to attend a free Life Plan workshop. David Carrier has years of estate planning experience and would be happy to assist you personally.