Elder Law, Long-term Care & Medicare/Medicaid
Elder law deals exclusively with the ongoing needs of senior citizens as they age. Aspects like senior housing, healthcare, and estate planning are covered under the umbrella of Elder Law.
Senior Housing & Long-term Care
Elder law-related issues are becoming more common in this day and age. A major recurring issue is related to long-term nursing home care and whether or not it is covered. Long-term care is usually not fully covered under Medicare or by private health insurance.
This can be a lot to cope with, especially with average costs for long-term care ranging from $35,000 to $150,000 per year. On average, in Florida, long-term care costs about $76,000 per year. These costs can be a drain on personal finances and many families find their assets completely emptied after paying for long-term senior care. Only once personal assets are depleted can seniors apply for nursing home coverage through Medicare/Medicaid
One aspect of Elder Law assists seniors and their families with planning for long-term senior care. Elder law attorneys can help devise a plan that provides sufficient insurance coverage and keeps families from spending personal assets.
Medicare is a federal health insurance entitlement program. In most cases, it is available to all American citizens age 65 and older. There are no financial qualifications needed for Medicare. Medicare is available in two primary parts: Part A and Part B.
Medicare Part A covers most in-hospital services along with extended, post-hospital care and hospice. However, Medicare Part A coverage is very stringent in regards to nursing home care. Medicare accounts for just 9% of nursing home coverage in the U.S.
Medicaid is offered through a joint, state and federal program. Medicaid is subject to overarching federal regulations, but each state may adopt its own set of regulations that dictate how coverage is provided. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid is not an entitlement program, rather, it is a form of welfare.
Medicaid applicants must submit an application to the state for coverage approval. There are several Medicaid program options available, from basic medical to nursing home coverage.
There are several resources available to find out more information on Medicaid:
- The Florida Department of Children and Families website has information on long-term care through Medicaid on their website.
- Florida Department of Elder Affairs provides Medicaid information for seniors and caregivers.
- We assist seniors and their families in the exploration of Medicaid eligibility options.
Moving a loved one to senior housing may not be the easiest task. Usually, a move is prompted by the death of a family member, an accident or a poor health diagnosis.
Apart from the emotional toll, finding suitable housing may prove difficult as well. Here are some steps that might make the transition a little easier on families considering long-term senior housing:
Do not wait for a health crisis to prompt a move to senior housing.
Make sure to review all standing health and financial records. Consider living expenses and associated costs. Decide whether a nursing home or senior community is a better option.
- Take a step-by-step approach
Selecting suitable senior housing can often take over a year. Devise a step-by-step transition plan.
There are many senior living options available to choose from.