Long-Term Care Planning

The Cost​. According to the 2015 Medicare Handbook, 70% of persons over the age of 65 will need long-term care services at some point in their life. But, this is a very broad statement. Some people need home health services, while others need a long-term care facility for an extended period of time, perhaps years. It could be that you, or your loved one, needs a specific type of medical treatment, or custodial care, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, and the need for other similar activities of daily living. What is the result? A drastic difference in the cost of care based on the circumstances of each person.

According to a report published by Genworth Financial after an extensive national survey by providers, the average costs of care in the St. Louis region in 2014, by category, are as follows:

TYPE OF CAREANNUAL AVG. COSTMONTHLY AVG. COST
Homemaker Services$45,760$3,813
Home Health Aide$45,760$3,813
Assisted Living: Private, One Bedroom$46,800$3,813
Nursing Home: Semi-Private Room$60,955$5,080
Nursing Home: Private Room$72,635$6,053

The five primary ways to pay for long-term care, are as follows:

  • 1Private pay.
  • 2Long-term care insurance.
  • 3Medicare (limited).
  • 4Medicaid.
  • 5VA Benefits.

Planning with Our Office

If you can afford to privately pay, this is a great option— but not realistic for many people. The private pay option can deplete a lifetime of savings within a few years. Long-term care insurance is also very appealing, and if you can afford the premiums, it is highly recommended. Unfortunately, the cost of long-term care insurance has been on the rise for the last couple of years. If you have not already purchased a plan, the cost of premiums for a new plan can be very high. In addition, if you have health problems, you may not qualify. As a result, this often is not a feasible option for many people. Next, is the Medicare option. This is limited to some home healthcare services or 100 days in a skilled facility. The 100 days is not a guarantee, but the maximum. Therefore, it serves a great purpose for short-term rehabilitation and other problems that are only expected to last for a couple of months, but it does not answer the cost of care issue for a person who is likely to need care in a facility for the remainder of their life or for an extended period of time. The final two options, Medicaid and VA benefits, are options that we regularly deal with in our office.(See Medicaid Planning and Veterans Benefits pages of this website for more details.)

There are many ways to tackle the issue of paying for the cost of long-term care, and many proactive things our clients can do to ensure the best level of care and effectively preserve assets.

First, we can help you identify your goals. Second, we must understand your assets, your income, your health, your family situation, how soon the care will be required (if not already) and where the client requires care. After that, we can identify solutions and strategies to meet your goals. The sooner you plan, the more options you have. For example, if your goal is to eventually qualify for Medicaid to help with the payments of long-term care costs and you, or your loved one, do not need care immediately, we will review the Medicaid planning options through the estate plan. If, on the other hand, your loved one is already in a facility, we will look at a number of variables and options available for immediate Medicaid planning.

For more information on long-team care planning, call our office: (314) 932-5573

Client Testimonials

I was at a total loss as to what to do about my parents estate when my father passed away and my mother was diagnosed with dementia. Melissa was (and is) a savior for myself and my family. She is brilliant, astute on the law, thorough, and she genuinely loves her work. Hire her, you will be glad you did, I assure you. - Paul

Client Testimonials

Ms. Melissa is the real deal, she is professional, courteous and very knowledgeable. She puts her elderly clients at ease with her calm and reassuring manor. She fully understands the different family dynamics and gets the best outcome for her client. I'm very glad I hired Elder Law attorney Melissa Leavy to be my mother's attorney and advocate. Would definitely recommend her and would definitely call her again if I need to. - Lisa

Client Testimonials

Melissa has been a fabulous attorney and consult regarding various legal matters and needs from legal guardianship to creating living will/power of attorney and a trust fund for my girls as well as even a special needs trust. She is thorough, well knowledged and very reliable on finding answers to my many questions on my various legal needs and replies in a timely manner. I HIGHLY recommend her for any legal need you may have. Comparable pricing and just amazing. - Dawne

Client Testimonials

Melissa provided my family with up to date information and offered knowledge based opinions for application for VA Spousal benefits for my Mother. The VA Administration changes it's review policy annually, and Melissa has the necessary training and experience to guide her Senior Clients through the process. Her firm also updated necessary legal documents for my Mom at a reasonable fee. Our family appreciated Attorney Melissa's well informed approach. - Heddy