Nursing home care and long term care costs in Massachusetts are often over $150,000 per year. Medicare and private health insurance will only pay for nursing home care for a short time and not more than 100 days. People don't think that they will ever need nursing home care, but sometimes their needs cannot be met at home. Advanced planning offers the greatest opportunity to protect your assets. However, steps can still be taken to protect assets when nursing home care is imminent, especially for married couples.
Medicaid also offers support for seniors that wish to stay at home or in assisted living facilties. We can assist you in exploring the numerous Community MassHealth programs and determining how to qualify for these programs.
Nursing home care is expensive...
Be sure you get the right advice.
My Spouse needs
nursing home care, how can I protect my assets?
Timing is critical, you need guidance now.
At this difficult time, you should not have to worry about losing your life savings. In 2020, in Massachusetts, a person applying for Medicaid with a spouse at home cannot qualify unless they have less than $128,420. Perhaps you have more than this. If so, we can often take steps to protect your assets, so that your spouse can qualify for Medicaid and you will not spend everything paying for nursing home care.
Perhaps the nursing home has offered to prepare the Medicaid application for you for free. If your assets exceed $128,420 you won't get the advice that you need. You may think that you are saving money, but in the end it will cost you many thousands of dollars. The nursing home will advise you to spend down your assets paying for nursing home care, when you have options that are more beneficial to you.
You may worry about having to sell your house to pay for nursing home care. With proper planning and guidance you should not need to sell your house to pay for your spouse's nursing home care.
I want to stay at home but I can't afford home care
Community Medicaid Programs
In Massachusetts, MassHealth (also called Medicaid) offers a variety of programs to help frail seniors continue living in the community, rather than in nursing homes. The income and asset limits vary by the program. With proper guidance, you may be surprised to find that you or your spouse may be able to get the care needed to stay at home. Some Community MassHealth programs offer assistance paying for Assisted Living Facilties. We are available to guide you through this often confusing area to ensure that you continue to live at home or in the community for as long as possible.
With advanced planning, how can I protect my home?
Protecting your home
Planning at least five years in advance of the need for nursing home care allows you the best opportunity to protect the equity in your home. We often use Life Estate Deeds or Irrevocable trusts as options for protecting your home.
You need to make sure that you get the right advice. Anytime you consider changing the title on your home, you should make sure that your interests are protected and that tax consequences are considered.