One of the major areas of long term care planning is the
protection of assets for a well spouse when the other spouse must be placed in
skilled nursing. The state and federal
laws and regulations allow a certain amount of assets and income for the well
spouse while still permitting the spouse who is placed in skilled nursing to
have his care paid for or supplemented.
In many cases, this minimum amount can be enlarged, so that the
financial security of the spouse who is still living in the home is
maintained. We are able to advise you on
the options available when a spouse is to be placed in skilled nursing. Additionally, there are legitimate asset
preservation strategies when it is a widow or widower who is anticipating
long-term care and wishes to preserve an asset, such as the family home, for
his or her children.
Long term care, also called custodial care, is the living
arrangement that includes nursing home care, assisted living facility care, and
some at home care circumstances. Medicare does not pay for nursing home care
except up to 100 days that is available from Medicare for rehabilitative
skilled care that may be provided in the same type nursing home facility. In
Tennessee, the cost of nursing home care typically is between $6,000 and $8,000
per month, or more than $80,000 per year.
The question many families with elderly members face is how to pay for
nursing home costs when it is needed. Your elder law attorney may include
qualified income trusts (sometimes referred to as a Miller Trusts), Medicaid
asset protection trusts, personal care contracts, and many other techniques
designed to protect a family's assets without impairing eligibility for
Medicaid nursing home benefits.
However, the cost of, and paying for long term care are
but one of the issues involved in the selection of a skilled nursing facility
in Tennessee for your loved one. Long
term care in a Tennessee nursing home is paid for in one, or a combination, of
- Long Term Care Insurance
- Private Funds
- Medicaid – through TennCare
If you have assets worth protecting, are young and
healthy enough to qualify and can afford the premiums, long term care insurance
may be your best option. An elder law
attorney can help you determine whether long term care insurance will be
appropriate for you.
Without long term care insurance, it will be necessary
for you to use your own resources to pay for nursing home costs or apply and
qualify for Tennessee Medicaid benefits to pay for nursing home care. An elder
law attorney can help you develop a properly designed Medicaid spend down plan
that may allow you to protect some of the elder person's assets for family
members, and still allow the elder person to qualify for Medicaid benefits to
pay the costs of the nursing home.
If you would like to have the help of an elder law
attorney to reduce your family member's assets and qualify for Medicaid
benefits to pay for nursing home costs, please call The Jones Law Firm.