Hot Topics in Health Care: TOP 5 TIPS TO USE BEFORE or AFTER YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE IS ADMITTED TO A NURSING HOME

With one of the worst winters in recent history, many clients are finding themselves falling on the ice and going to rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility or being placed as a long term resident. I have compiled a list of tips that you can use if you or your loved one may be in this situation:

Tip #1: Purchase a Medicare Supplemental Plan. Many times a person will go into a nursing facility and leave within 100 days, that’s the maximum amount of time that Medicare will pay at least part of the stay in a nursing home. If this is the case, Medicare pays 100% up to 20 days and 80% after day 20, as long as you have traditional Medicare (not Medicare Advantage) and you have had a qualifying 3 night hospital stay (not under observation). The co-pay for days 21 to 100 is $152 dollars per day. If you purchase a good Medicare Supplemental Plan, it will pay for the co-pays and save you potentially $12,160.

Tip #2: Have a well drafted and updated Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy: In a facility you may be incapacitated for part or all of the stay. At that point, you can no longer execute documents to take care of your finances and health care decision making. Even if you have these documents, the people that you appointed may no longer be in your life or deceased.

Tip #3: Engage in Medicaid Planning: There may be ways to protect assets for your spouse and other family members. A qualified elder law attorney will assist you with the legal aspects of preserving your assets. Even if you are going into a nursing facility, elder lawyers can utilize advance Medicaid strategies to protect assets.

Tip#4: Get your financial affairs in order. All too often, individuals lose large amounts of money that gets sent to the state because they lose track of where their investments are held. Each year, when you get your taxes completed, make a list of your investments, dividends, etc., this way if you lose decision making capacity, someone can recreate your investments.

Tip #5: Ask for help: There are many elder lawyers, care managers and senior financial specialists who can assist to minimize the stress, when you are facing the difficultly of long term care issues.

 

About Author

  • Email: mlamagna@hhrls.com
  • Michael LaMagna, LNHA, MPA, JD concentrates in the areas of Medicaid and Advanced Asset Protection Planning, Elder Law, Trusts and Estates, Probate and Probate Litigation, Guardianships, Health Care Regulatory Matters, Nursing Home Placement, Long Term Care Insurance, Medicare Appeals, Social Security/SSI Litigation and Special Needs Law. If you have a question for Mr. LaMagna, please call him at (914) 437-5955.