According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over 70 percent of people over the age of 65 in America will need long-term care services. Of those Americans, only 13 percent had long-term care insurance policies to protect them from high out-of-pocket expenses.
For the people without Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI), there are alternatives which can have legal liabilities and pose a problem to the senior and their family as the laws are not well known or understood.
The expanding predicament of funding long-term care has caused numerous litigations against families and forced the recovery of money already disbursed for long-term care. The elderly and their families need to consider all options available and have their assets reviewed as they seek ways to fund long-term care.
Frequently, the responsibility for long-term care decisions and expenses is managed by the family of the elder. Here are four essential factors senior citizens and their families should understand about methods of paying for long-term care and guarding against future dilemmas.
States can file a lawsuit for Medicaid recovery of Long-Term Care expenses.
Most elders and their families believe that once their loved one is approved for Medicaid coverage for long-term care that now they only have to be concerned about maintaining functional and financial eligibility. The family and their loved one have already shown that the level of care needed is expensive and not affordable. However, this does not necessarily imply there is not anything else left to worry about concerning being responsible for paying for long-term care or repaying expenses covered by Medicaid.
The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 mandates states to enforce a Medicaid estate recovery program.
This permits states to sue families in probate court to recuperate Medicaid dollars that were spent on a family member’s long-term care. The Office of the Inspector General reports that reports that hundreds of millions of dollars are recuperated from families each year because Medicaid is used as the primary source for long-term care expenses. Each state has budget pressures, and with the expanding long-term care expenses, lawsuits to recover funds spent by Medicaid are anticipated to become more common and assertive.
Use caution with any Information about life insurance policies and be sure nothing is withheld.
Using a life insurance and selling it or borrowing against it can become a funding source for long-term care expenses. This process is called a life settlement and is an alternative source to utilize to help fund long-term care needs. Some states have passed legislation which demands a client reveal information about life insurance policies before allowing them to lapse.
There are also filial responsibility laws in 28 states to understand.
To summarize, these laws demand adult children and other close relatives support their impoverished parents. There are criminal penalties for those who fail to provide support when asked to do so. Attorneys can file lawsuits for nursing homes for residents who are poverty-stricken to recover funds and get help with long-term care expenses.
It is essential to take the time to learn and become knowledgeable about long-term care expenses, LTCI, and Medicaid as you and your loved one figure out how to pay for long-term care. It can be overwhelming and stressful as this may be your first time on this journey. Get opinions and the advice of professionals to be sure every detail is reviewed and that you are protecting you and your family now and in the future, as you get help with the expensive long-term care services that are needed.