How can I plan ahead for the high cost of long term care?

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Paying for long-term care is expensive. For current rates, please visit the Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon.

A 2014 study found the following median rates per year for care in Oregon:

  • Home Care – $48,048
  • Adult Day Health Care – $18,720
  • Assisted Living Facility – $48,000
  • Nursing Home Care – $96,725

While the study did not include Adult Care Facilities (or Adult Foster Homes), you can expect to pay about $45,000 per year.

Most families are not able to pay privately for long term care for an extended period. Medicare does not cover long term care costs. If you do not have long term care insurance and you or your family cannot continue to pay for care, eventually you will need to qualify for Medicaid.

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that pays for long term care for applicants who are eligible. The main eligibility criteria is the assets the applicant and spouse own. An applicant can only have $2,000 in available assets plus either an irrevocable prepaid burial plan or a separate burial fund with a maximum of $1,500. The spouse of the applicant can have a maximum of $119,220 plus a home and one car. It is important to remember that you cannot give away assets to reach these limits. There is also an income limit for the applicant and the applicant must need the level of care Oregon pays for.

Because Medicaid eligibility rules change every year, it is important you work with an experienced Elder Law attorney to plan for long term care costs. The attorney can review your resources and help develop a plan to qualify you for Medicaid while preserving assets for your spouse if possible. Starting the planning process before a person needs long term care will help achieve the best outcome.

An experienced Elder Law attorney can explain your options when planning for long term care and assist you in putting a plan in place. Contact the Elder Law attorneys with the Law Offices of Nay & Friedenberg in Portland, Oregon at (503) 245-0894 to set an appointment.

If you would like to learn more about elder law planning, click here to receive our FREE Legal/Financial Planning Guide.