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Medicaid planning increasingly important as medical costs on rise

While aging – and the additional needs it inevitably brings – is an issue few residents of New York like to dwell on, experts are urging individuals to begin planning for the cost of long-term health care now. With expenses rising ever-higher on an annual basis, families with aging loved ones are well advised to start considering their options now, as issues like Medicaid planning are typically only beneficial when begun well in advance. Waiting too long often has unfortunate consequences, from a rushed spending down of assets to difficulty mustering resources and more.

The costs associated with nursing homes, especially, can be financially devastating, at an average of over $8,000 a month. This is an increase of over 5 percent from just the previous year. In fact, long-term care costs rose across the board in the past year by an average of 4.5 percent, the second-highest increase in the past 13 years.

Experts advise families with aging members to begin by taking a financial inventory of all resources available, including Social Security and pensions. Families may wish to discuss with elderly loved ones what they wish for their future needs, including whether they'd prefer in-home care, relocation to a nursing home or one of a variety of other options. While elderly parents moving in with grown children may be one less expensive option to consider, this obviously has other emotional and logistical ramifications to take into account.

One consideration is Medicaid, but without proper planning, many find it difficult to qualify. Medicaid does help cover some of the costs of long-term care and nursing home stays, but the program is needs based and requires recipients to be below a certain income and asset threshold. However, with the help of a Long Island New York Medicaid planning attorney, there are appropriate ways to address these issues, such as gifting assets into irrevocable trusts. An experienced attorney can offer insight into some of the available resources to help elderly New Yorkers afford the long-term care they need without bankrupting themselves and their families in the process.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Start Planning Now to Care for Elderly Parents", Chris Taylor, Oct. 10, 2017

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