Thanks to advances in medical technology, today's seniors are living longer than ever and often survive medical situations that often render one incapable of caring for oneself. This fact coupled with the recent phenomenon of children living further away from their parents and being unable to provide for their care, which is especially true of North Dakotans, has led to the increasing institutionalization of older Americans.
The costs of nursing care have increased astronomically with many North Dakotans currently paying $5,000 to $6,000 per month, and, in some cases, much more. One method to combat the escalating costs of nursing home care and home health care is through the purchase of long-term care insurance. If a person is healthy enough to afford the insurance and young enough to qualify, it can be an excellent investment. However, many seniors do not qualify for long-term care insurance due to age or various health issues, or they simply cannot afford it.
If a person does not have long-term care insurance or the long-term care insurance benefit does not cover the cost of care, which is often the case as nursing care costs have exceeded the inflationary protections of various policies, the primary alternative is to seek eligibility through the Medicaid program. Medicaid is primarily federally funded and is a needs-based program intended to assist the elderly with the costs associated with nursing care costs, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare. In order to qualify for Medicaid an individual must meet the complex and stringent eligibility criteria.
Our firm has the expertise to assist individuals with all aspects of their nursing home planning from the purchase of long-term care insurance through planning and achieving Medicaid eligibility. This is certainly a complex area of law with many pitfalls for the unsuspecting who attempt to proceed without the assistance of legal counsel skilled and knowledgeable in the many intricacies of this area of law. Based on our many experiences and vast array of clients in this area, one thing is certain - a much greater opportunity exists for persons to protect their life savings from the exorbitant cost of long-term care, if they do not procrastinate and come to see us immediately.