The cost of long term nursing home care rises every year, and can quickly drain even a healthy retirement fund without Medicaid benefits. That is where an Elder Law Attorney can help.
MarketWatch’s recent article entitled, “What does an elder law Medicaid attorney do?” explains that an Elder Law Attorney specializes in the needs of older adults, and individuals living with significant disabilities.
The financial rules for Medicaid coverage are complicated and state-specific. However, generally people must spend down to about $2,000 in savings and investments, have a lower monthly income, and meet the medical qualifications.
Planning to use Medicaid to pay for long-term care is also complicated by the fact that, while its coverage of nursing home care is comprehensive, its payment for home care and assisted living facility fees is very limited in the state of Texas.
An experienced Elder Law Attorney knows and understands all the Medicaid qualification requirements. Medicaid qualification rules change frequently, and an elder law attorney can help you with this application process.
Medicaid is only available after a person has depleted almost all their assets. An experienced elder law attorney can use techniques to lower an applicant’s countable income or assets. That will help make the applicant eligible, while protecting their life savings and home at the same time.
In addition, an Elder Law Attorney can help with some pre-planning for emergency situations. This may include estate planning. In particular, a power of attorney for health care is a legal document that lets your designated agent or proxy make medical decisions for you, if incapacitated.
Another document is a living will, which is designed to apply only in very limited situations when you have an incurable or irreversible medical condition or conditions that will most likely will result in your death within a short period of time.
A living will can address life-sustaining treatments, such as ventilators, nutrition via a feeding tube and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or other extraordinary measures. It can also address issues like pain management and palliative care.
Reference: MarketWatch (Oct. 4, 2022) “What does an elder law Medicaid attorney do?”