As we age, the possibility of needing long-term care or nursing home assistance becomes increasingly real. In fact, the federal Department of Health and Human Services notes that over 70% of people over the age of 65 will need some sort of long-term care. However, the costs associated with these services can be staggering, leaving many families worried about losing their home and life savings to cover these expenses. Understanding the differences between Medicare and Medicaid, and exploring legal planning strategies, can provide peace of mind and asset protection.

Medicare’s Limitations for Long-Term Care Coverage

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides valuable coverage for many medical expenses for seniors and those with disabilities. However, it’s crucial to recognize that Medicare’s coverage for long-term care and nursing home costs is very limited.

While Medicare may cover up to 100 days of skilled nursing facility care per benefit period, you’ll be responsible for a daily co-payment after the first 20 days. Beyond this limited coverage, you’ll need to explore other options to cover the costs of extended long-term care.

Medicaid: A Double-Edged Sword for Long-Term Care Costs

Medicaid, on the other hand, is the government program that provides comprehensive coverage for long-term care and nursing home costs. In fact, due to the skyrocketing costs of long-term care, Medicaid has become the number one wat for middle-class families to cover these expenses.

However, Medicaid is a means-tested program, which means that strict income and asset limits must be met to qualify. The federal government also requires state to attempt to recover from your estate after you’ve passed away to repay the benefits you received; potentially resulting in the loss of your home and any remaining assets.

However, by working with an experienced estate and elder law attorney, you can engage in legal and ethical planning to restructure your assets to qualify for the benefits you need without losing everything you’ve worked so hard to build. These strategies may include the use of specialized trusts, gifting, annuities, and other tools designed to help you meet Medicaid’s eligibility requirements while preserving your assets for your spouse, children, or other beneficiaries.

Don’t let long-term care costs jeopardize your home and life savings. Take proactive steps today to protect your home and life savings through comprehensive legal planning. Call our Minnetonka, Minnesota office at (763) 420-5087 or our Florida office at (941) 909-4644 today to schedule a consultation to discuss planning options custom-tailored for you. You can also fill out the contact form on this page and a member of our team will reach out to you to schedule.

If you are not yet ready to schedule, and would like additional information, we have two resources available to you.

Save Our Home GuideIf you would like to learn how to protect your home and life savings from long-term care and nursing home costs, click here to download our FREE guide Save our Home: How to Protect Your Home and Life Savings From Long-Term Care and Nursing Home Costs.


Protect my home You can also click here to sign up for our FREE online masterclass where you'll discover additional details on how to protect your life savings from long term care. 


Chuck Roulet
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Nationally Recognized Estate Planning Attorney, Author, and Speaker
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