Planning for nursing home care is an important part of any estate plan. The costs of long-term care homes are extremely high, and people are living longer than ever. Without the proper nursing home planning, it can be difficult to pay for nursing home care for a long period of time. At Walny Legal, we have helped many Wisconsin residents engage in nursing home planning for themselves and their loved ones. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.
What is Long-Term Nursing Home Care?
Long-term care becomes necessary when a person needs assistance with completing daily activities for an extended period. In many cases, a person experiences a medical condition or illness that requires them to enter a long-term care facility.
Wisconsin nursing homes often offer graduated levels of care. For example, a resident might live in a nursing home while still getting dressed and conducting daily activities on his or her own. Or, nursing home residents might need complete and total care with the following activities:
- Cleaning and personal hygiene
- Getting dressed and undressed
- Taking a bath
- Managing and taking medication
- Assistance with meal preparation and eating
Nursing home assistance can be provided in a wide variety of settings. Sometimes, nurses provide at-home care. Other times, people must live in a nursing home full-time. Indeed, nursing homes, at-home care, as well as assisted living facilities are all considered long-term care.
The Costs of Nursing Home Care in Wisconsin
Due to the high cost of nursing home care, assisted living care, and adult daycare, smart planning is necessary for people to afford long-term care. In 2019, the average monthly rate for nursing home care in Wisconsin is $4,300. When an individual requires memory care for dementia or Alzheimer’s, nursing homes often charge an additional monthly fee, which can be as much as $860 to $1,290 per month.
In some cases, an adult does not need full-time nursing home care. Instead, they may need some help while living independently. Many families choose to keep their elderly loved ones living at home with them to save money and be close to their loved ones. The cost of hiring a caretaker in Wisconsin is $23.50 per hour, on average.
When a loved one needs a caretaker who is a registered nurse or who has areas of expertise, they will likely need to pay more. For example, the hourly wage for a registered nurse in Wisconsin is $33.27. Adult daycare is another option for elderly loved ones who need supervision. The average daily rate for adult daycare in Wisconsin is $65 per day.
Planning to Pay for Nursing Home Care in Wisconsin
At Walny Legal, our legal team understands all of the best ways to plan for nursing home care. One of the best options for paying for long-term care is to take out a long-term care insurance policy. These policies range in cost and the protection that they offer. But, these policies can affect some of your long-term care costs or all of your long-term care costs. Typically, long-term care insurance policies will have a predetermined total payout.
One of the downsides of long-term care insurance is the expense involved. If you are afraid that you cannot pay the premiums for long-term care insurance, there are other options that could make more sense. Keep in mind that if you lapse on making payments, you will not be able to get your money back and your insurance policy will become terminated.
Using a Reverse Mortgage to Pay for Nursing Home Care
For many people who are in retirement or reaching retirement, the most valuable asset is their home. One way to take advantage of your home is to take advantage of a reverse mortgage. In a reverse mortgage, you take equity out of your home and receive it as cash. You will receive payments from your reverse mortgage loan as a lump sum, or in increments.
The amount of your reverse home mortgage loan will depend on the value of your home, your age, and the interest rates. When your loan is due, your children or grandchildren can choose to pay off the loan or to sell the home. Any money resulting from the sale of the home will return to your family. Additionally, the Federal Housing Authority insures HECM reverse mortgages.
Using Annuities to Pay for Nursing Home Care
Another potential strategy for paying for nursing home care is to purchase an annuity. Once you purchase an annuity, the insurance company will pay you a monthly income based on the initial purchase price. You can choose an immediate annuity or long-term care annuity. Deferred long-term care annuities create two separate funds. The first fund is dedicated to paying for long-term care needs and the second fund is used for other expenses, including long-term care.
Paying for Nursing Home Care Through Medicare and Medicaid
For many retirees, Medicare and Medicaid do not provide sufficient coverage for long-term care. Many people rely on government assistance to pay for their health care. Medicare only pays for nursing home services for up to 100 days for those who meet certain criteria. Medicaid only covers long-term nursing homes for individuals who are below a certain level of income.
There are several ways to help yourself or your loved one afford long-term nursing home care. You can create an irrevocable trust and transfer your assets into the trust. Doing so can help you make sure that your income level is below what it takes to qualify for nursing home benefits from Medicaid.
Contact Our Nursing Home Planning Lawyers Today
It is important that you talk to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible because certain transfers of money to other people will count against you if you are attempting to qualify for long-term Medicaid benefits. Contact Walny Legal as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.