Long-Term Care Planning

One important part of estate planning is to determine where the money will come from for ongoing medical bills and insurance costs. This, of course, will vary from one individual case to another, depending on the personal healthcare needs of the person in question. It’s important to note that regular insurance plans do not cover long-term care needs—while medical bills may be covered, assisted living facilities (such as nursing homes) and at-home assistance aren’t necessarily covered by regular insurance. This means that figuring out a long-term care plan is a crucial part of estate planning. According to CNN Money Magazine, “the allure of long-term care is obvious.” But it’s important to note that “Medicare doesn’t offer extended long-term care coverage,” according to CNN Money, and while Medicaid does, it’s only very, very low-income retirees who are eligible.

Long-Term Care PlanningThe reason it’s important to include a long-term care plan into your estate plan is because long-term care insurance can be incredibly expensive. According to CNN Money, “the annual premium can easily be $2,500 or more a year and many insurers have jacked up initial premiums by 20 percent or more over the past decade.” Yet no other insurance plan offers to cover expenses incurred by someone stopping by the house to bath or feed an elderly person, or costs incurred by full-time nursing homes. According to the Illinois Council on Long Term Care, if a person is paying privately (out of his or her own pocket), he or she can “expect to spend between $25,000 and $50,000 per year in charges.” Most nursing homes reserve the right to ask a person to leave if his or her money runs out—it’s not as if just getting in ensures a spot there long-term.

To determine which long-term care insurance policy is best for you, you’ll need to estimate how much you think you’ll spend. “As a rule of thumb,” according to CNN Money, “the average amount of time spent in a nursing home… is about three years.” The current national average daily cost in a nursing home is $180. To figure out what long-term care is best, it’s advised to seek the counsel of a qualified elderly law attorney.

If you or someone you know is beginning to figure out your estate plan or long-term care plan, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois estate-planning lawyer today.

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