There is no question that Florida seniors are living longer and longer and, while many people focus on planning for retirement, they often forget about the importance of planning for long-term care. Long-term care is the care Older Americans may need if the time should come that they are unable to care for themselves. This possibility can be hard to face as you age, and it is even harder to comprehend that the time to plan is when you are younger.

Unfortunately, many people believe that as they age the Medicare system will provide for all of their health care needs. This is not the case. The Medicare system is an acute payor system. As such, it will help short term or “acute” needs. For example, this could be a Florida senior’s prescription medication or an annual doctor’s visit. When it comes time for rehabilitation or home care, however, there will be a cap, or limit, on these services.

The realization that you, or a parent or senior loved one, may need to enter into a nursing home or require full-time care at home can not only be stressful but heart wrenching. On top of coping with this dramatic lifestyle shift based on care needs, Florida seniors and their loved ones realize that at this moment there will be a significant cost for the necessary care. It is imperative to confront the seemingly overwhelming question of: how will your loved one, or you, be able to pay for this full-time nursing home care if Medicare will not?  

Everyone should have concerns about their ability to cover the expense of a nursing home. These costs, often over $8,000 per month, can quickly deplete the family’s assets. It is imperative to both understand Medicare will have a set limit on how long it will pay for long-term care, often less than 100 days, and that there are ways to avoid being impoverished when you plan early. While you can plan in the midst of a crisis, the earlier you are able to plan, the better.

Now is the time to discuss your options with an experienced elder law attorney. An elder law attorney can evaluate your loved one’s finances and medical needs and create a plan for covering the cost of long-term care.  Coverage options will be explored. Available payment options for long-term care may include:

  • Long-term care insurance, 
  • Veterans benefits, 
  • Social security, 
  • Medicare, to a limited degree, or 
  • Florida Medicaid. 

Working with an elder law attorney is critical as the amount of assets that you or your loved one have can impact his or her ability to qualify for certain benefits. A Florida elder law attorney can help maneuver such assets so that they do not end up disqualifying your loved one from receiving critical government benefits, such as those provided by Medicaid.  

November is National Long-Term Care Month. It is critical this month, and throughout the year, to prioritize contacting an elder law attorney today to help ensure that your parent or senior loved one has the appropriate plans in place. Please reach out to our office to schedule a meeting time

We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering.