Even in a Crisis, It's Never Too Late to Plan.
If your loved one is in a health care facility (or about to enter one), the most important thing to remember is that planning can still be done, despite advice given by well meaning neighbors and friends, as well as other professionals who may not specialize in this area. Planning for emergency nursing home cases involves many variables, and truly requires input from all three disciplines; Case Management, Financial2 and Legal Overview.1 The goals of each family are carefully reviewed and a plan is developed based on the following factors:
Care Options Evaluation — Whether or not someone needs long term care in a nursing home is based on several factors, including:
- Competency/desire to remain in the home
- Skilled vs. custodial care needs
- Living environment/safety issues
- Family support/ability to participate in care
As we work together with families and get to know their needs and goals, we provide guidance that gives them the best opportunity to develop the optimum care plan, whether in a facility or at home with appropriate care services. Our goal is to always advise on how to maximize care dollars and advocate that care be delivered in the least restrictive setting.
Asset Preservation and Financial Guidance2 — Families often contact us when a loved one:
- Is receiving short term rehabilitation covered by their Medicare and combined Supplemental Medicare benefits, if any.
- Needs to plan for ongoing care, either in the home/community, or in a nursing home.
Once Medicare benefits end and an individual stays in a nursing home beyond that coverage, their payment options depend on whether any planning has been done.
Payment would range from the following potential sources:
- paying out of available family assets
- accessing any long term care insurance benefits if applicable
- qualifying for long term care Medicaid benefits.
Estate Planning and Living Documents1 — The order in which the documents are drafted and executed is critical when devising an Emergency Medicaid Plan. Oftentimes it is necessary to expedite certain documents based on acuity of an illness or potential mortality issues. Allowable asset exemptions are evaluated in the planning process, and implemented whenever possible and appropriate to preserve an estate and qualify a loved one for Medicaid Benefits (for a list of exempt assets, ask for our Getting Started Booklet). Also, refer to Estate Planning with Health Care Needs.