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How to plan for rising senior care costs

Planning for Inflation and the Rising Costs of Senior Care

Published September 23, 2022

By Brian L. Miller, Esq.

Over the years we have all witnessed the steady rise in the cost of senior care, be it nursing home, assisted or independent living, or home health aides. Unfortunately, with the increased inflation we’ve experienced over the past year, the cost of senior care is rising at an alarming rate.

A recent Wall Street Journal article noted that while the increases vary by region, there have been increases of 10-12% in some senior care facilities, much more than the recent 3-5% increases we have seen over the years. Where nursing home rates in the NY Metropolitan area can reach $500 – $600+ per day, even a small 3-5% increase can cause a resident’s cost of care increase by $450 – $900+ per month. At 10-12% you may be looking at cost of care increases of $1,500 – $2,160 per month. Such an increase can be devastating for someone who survives on a limited income and is paying privately for their care.

As the cost of care continues to increase, it is becoming harder for seniors to pay privately for their long-term care. Thus, the alternatives to paying for one’s long-term care are to purchase long-term care insurance and/or seek government benefits such as Medicaid.

Purchasing long-term care insurance is a proactive approach to paying for long-term care; however, this insurance is purchased years in advance of its need. Even for those who purchased long-term care insurance, we are seeing that daily pay rates are falling behind the inflation increased rates that long-term care facilities are charging. As such, further planning is often needed to maximize one’s income and assets, or in some cases apply for government benefits such as Medicaid.

For those that didn’t purchase long-term care insurance or are unable to afford its increasing premiums, applying for Medicaid benefits may be the only available option.

Quite often, people come to us thinking that they have too much income and/or assets to qualify for Medicaid. However, with proactive planning performed by a competent elder care attorney, you may be able to protect your assets while making yourself financially eligible to qualify for Medicaid benefits. Thus, while inflation will continue to take its toll on the private pay rates for seniors’ long-term care, know that there is planning that you can take advantage of to make yourself eligible to qualify for Medicaid benefits and allow the government entitlement programs such as Medicaid worry about the ever-increasing cost of long-term care.

To learn more about how you can protect your assets and create plans which enable you to qualify for Medicaid benefits, call Littman Krooks LLP at 914-684-2100 to schedule your no obligation consultation.

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