While most Americans are aware of the distinct possibility that they will require long-term care after reaching the age of seniority, it is next to impossible to determine when this care will be needed, and what the extent of it will be. It is therefore vital for everyone to have a plan for the potential costs of long-term care. A recent article discusses the importance of long-term care planning, and what you can do to plan.
It is first important to have a realistic view of just how much long-term care may cost. A 2013 Genworth Cost of Care Survey recently reported that, in the past five years, the national average cost for a private room in a nursing home has jumped 24 percent to $83,950. Additionally, the cost of a semi-private room has increased 23 percent in the past 5 years to $75,405. If you would like to stay in your home and hire a full-time home health aide, expect to pay an average of $44,479 per year. And those are the averages – New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania tend to be much higher than the average.
If these costs would seriously damage your finances, you should consider planning for them. Often, people fail to plan for these expenses because they believe that Medicare will cover the costs of long-term care. However, this is simply not the case. Medicare does not cover the full cost of long-term care, and often the patient is not prepared for the bill. Medicaid will pay for long-term care, but most people mistakenly believe they must spend all their assets to do so. With proper legal planning, you can protect assets from long term care costs and get eligible for government benefits sooner than you might think.