Being prepared makes it easier for all concerned

We all like to think we’ll stay fit and healthy. At the same time, we all know the reality.

Those who cope best with this reality are usually the ones who have put careful thought into it well before the time comes.

Long-term healthcare can be very expensive. Planning for this helps you prepare for what is around the corner, making it easier for you, your family, and your estate.

We help you:

  • Help you qualify for long-term healthcare for you or family members, if required
  • Secure a better quality of life in later years
  • Avoid potentially crippling costs

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Failing to plan is planning to pay for it later.

Despite the fact that more than two-thirds of Americans aged 65 or older will need long-term care or support in the future, surprisingly few plan for it.

Perhaps that is because only 37 percent of people think they will need it, according to Senior Care.

The average cost of private nursing home care in Arizona is currently around $85,000 per year or over $7,000 per month. Not addressing it can take a hefty toll on your finances.

Arizona is ranked in the top 20 states in the US in terms of the healthcare it provides for seniors, but even costs for nursing care at home are substantial.

Planning ahead can save you from potentially astronomical costs.

Some of the main solutions to consider include:

  • Certain irrevocable trusts: these can protect your assets from long-term care costs
  • Qualifying for Medicaid or Veterans benefits
  • Long-term care insurance 
  • Wealth replacement strategies

What is Medicaid and are you eligible?

The Arizona Medicaid program is officially known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). 

All eligible residents are entitled to elderly and disabled care, including nursing home care, alternative residential care, and community-based services. These are operated on a managed care model. 

Services include:

  • Adult daycare 
  • Behavioral care
  • Care coordination assistance
  • Community transition services 
  • Dental care
  • Durable medical equipment and specialized furniture
  • Home health care
  • Home nursing
  • Homemaker services
  • Hospice care
  • Housekeeping
  • Meal preparation and delivery
  • Personal care / Attendant care
  • Personal emergency response services
  • Physician’s appointments
  • Respite care
  • Transportation assistance – medical 

For high net-worth individuals, Medicaid is unlikely to be an option.

To be eligible for this aid, you must:

  • Be a resident of Arizona 
  • Be aged 65 or over or have a recognized disability
  • Meet physical or mental impairment requirements at the level provided by a skilled nursing home or intermediate care facility
  • Receive a monthly income no more than 300% of the SSI Federal Benefit Rate (FBR)
  • Come within ‘countable asset’ requirements as set out in the guidelines

Note that the Medicaid program does not cover room and board in assisted living arrangements, so even if you are eligible for assisted living through Medicaid, you’ll still have to pay for living charges.

Irrevocable trusts and Medicaid

Setting up an irrevocable trust does not automatically mean you will qualify for Medicaid.

The assets it includes are not necessarily exempt from being considered as ‘countable assets’ in your estate by Medicaid assessors.

Any asset that the trustee can choose to give to the beneficiary will still be treated as a countable resource by Medicaid.

This is a complex area that needs expert legal advice to navigate. Doing it right can help you get valuable health care aid.

Long-term care insurance 

Another way to safeguard your long-term care requirements is to take out long-term care insurance.

This is not a common offering by insurance companies as in the past (and premiums can be quite high) but it may still be worth considering.

It covers many of the costs associated with nursing home care, assisted living or in-home care that is not covered by Medicare.

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