Long Term Care Insurance

Discussion in 'Money & Finances' started by Shirley Martin, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I am in good health mentally and physically so I have never given a thought to long term health care insurance. My DGD recently told me that her MIL has Alzheimer's and no long term insurance. It looks like the only option is for her to go live with DGD and her DH. That sounds like a terrible option to me for many reasons. So I've been thinking about what would happen to me if I should ever need long term care. I have no idea of how to go about looking into insurance to cover it. Y'all seem to be mostly pretty smart people so I thought I'd ask y'all. :)

    Does anyone have long term care insurance? Any advice?
     
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  2. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Very Well-Known Member
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    Do not have it...can not afford that to. However, I know folks who have had that insurance and pays off in the long run. Just keep researching out the insurance
    companies and monthly amounts. Make sure affiliated with the BBB ( better business bureau )
     
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  3. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    Be very careful with long-term care insurance. Much of it is a rip-off unless you are fairly wealthy to begin with. My MIL had it but couldn't use it as it didn't pay enough to cover the entire cost of her care. If she used it, she would have had to pay the remainder out-of-pocket, and she didn't have the funds. She had sold her house years ago, so she had to go on Medicaid. She paid long-term care insurance premiums for decades, but, in the end, it was money wasted as she was unable to use it. The insurance company profited greatly and there are many cases out there just like hers. Good LTI is VERY expensive, as the company is on the hook perhaps for decades of high nursing home care.
     
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  4. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I did some looking at it. It looks to me like anybody who can afford it, will have enough money not to need it. If you pay it for twenty years, you'd be better off putting that much money in some kind of investment.
     
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  5. Debra Stolte

    Debra Stolte New Member
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    By the time you reach 65, chances are about 50-50 that you’ll require paid long term care someday. If you want insurance seek out for expert advice, try here to know about the factors that you need to contribute before you consider any Medicare policies.
     
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  6. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    #6
  7. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    Have no assets or be sure your family knows there will be no inheritance. Medical will pay all. You have to sign your home over to someone else, I believe, 7 years prior to needing long term care. I had a patient with a chronic illness who did this. Her daughter lived in the house.

    I'm not going to worry about it. I'll be in some apartment or some mobile home. I don't care about leaving a penny to anyone. No use having money at that stage from what I have seen.
     
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  8. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    A neighbor shared with me her situation after she retired for health reasons. Before she could apply for medicaid in addition to medicare she deeded the house to her daughter or she would not have been eligible for it. It gave me some things to think about.
     
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  9. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Shirley Martin
    Yeah, as usual those who have, use what they have to stave off the rigors presented to those who have not.

    I like how you think!
    Frank
     
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  10. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    I'm not sure about this. My understanding is they can't take your house or one car while alive. Once gone, then yes the government takes the money once it's sold. I'm going to do a search and see what else I can find.

    EDIT: Just did an internet search and it appears I'm correct. If you just Google it a lot of information will come up. They can't count or take your house if you are alive. There are some limits on the value of the house. Something I'd never qualify for.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Yeah, they won't take your house and they won't generally take your car, but if you have more than one car, they might take one of them, if it's worth bothering with, and you don't want them to find out that you have a bank account.

    The sad thing is that so many people are dependent upon Medicaid for the last months or years of their lives, as they are old, ill, and unable to work, so there is nothing left to pass on to your children or grandchildren. Of course, if the kids wanted your stuff, they could always make sure you weren't in the position of having to be dependent on Medicaid.
     
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  12. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I think that this is actually two different things.
    What @Von Jones is saying is that her neighbor could not qualify for medicaid while she owned the house, and this might very well be so. You are only allowed acertain amount of assets and still be able to qualify. Since our car was almost 20 years old and barely runs, and we do not own a house, we didn’t have to worry about being able to qualify for medicaid.
    As far a whether the state can actually TAKE your house in exchange for covering your nursing home bills, that is a different thing.
    I had friends in Idaho, and the husband had a stroke and then Alzheimer’s, and was in the nursing home. The state paid for him to be there, and they took ownership of their home and land; but the wife was able to live in the house until she died, and then the state owned the property.

    Another thing that is scary, is what happened a year ago to my friend Evelyn (@Joyce Mcgregor ). She had heart problems, and ended up in the hospital, and then transferred to a nursing home to recover longer.
    Medicaid paid for about the first month, and then they didn’t pay any longer, and the nursing home started taking all of her SS pension, plus said that she also owed about $2000 more each month.
    She didn’t have any money to get out of the nursing home because they were taking her whole SS check, and the longer she was trapped there, the more money the nursing home said she owed them.
    Robin and I went on an emergency rescue mission, got Evelyn out of the nursing home and brought her back to Huntsville to our house. Her daughter had a fundraiser for her mom, and they raised enough money for her to rent a little studio apartment here , which is where she still lives now; but if she had not had someone to rescue her and help her get into a rental somewhere, she would have been trapped there forever, and no way to move anywhere else.
     
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  13. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    That is a sad story, but could have been sadder is she had remained trapped. My aunt was in a similar situation, but she ended up having to sell her house and essentially all her belongings to enable Medicaid to pick up her nursing home bill. She was 5,000 miles away from me, so my brother helped her with the transaction. O wonder how this works in states that have "Homestead Exemption" laws?
     
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  14. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    It's complicated and I'm not claiming to have all the answers. I have known of patients who still somehow got their SS checks and had the nursing home paid by medical and they had all their SS check to spend. And they did. I even reported this to our front office who stated they reported it and nothing seems to have been done. I have no idea how they did this or got by with it.

    My search also stated that you can qualify for medical as your house cannot be used as an asset white you are alive and living in it.

    I had a patient leave the nursing home and go to a low income apartment for seniors. I do know the home takes your SS check but I don't know if this can be worked out so you can start personally claiming your check again.
     
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  15. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    If the person cannot live independently in the home then it will be sold. But if they can live in their home even after accruing large medical bills, I don't believe the home can be taken in any way. While they are alive. I had a family who had the parents in a nursing home and the son kept the house going paying the taxes etc (I'm sure the house was paid for) He didn't want this house to go for the nursing home bills but I have to assume since both the parents passed, when he sold that house, the government took that money back from the sale of the house.

    People, please do your own Google searches and see what you find.
     
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  16. Harry Havens

    Harry Havens Well-Known Member
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    There is a five year look back period on Medicaid. Any deed transfers, movement of assets within 5 years prior to applying to Medicaid... falls under the look back rules. In addition there are rules about assets allowed under Medicaid, such as number of vehicles, cash and savings, etc. (This is also the age of the internet and everything is digital).

    Here is one article about the look back... https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/medicaid/look-back-period.html

    One of the problems with the expanded medicaid from ACA, is that many people signed up for medicaid without realizing that even if they get back on their feet and exit medicaid... their estate is still liable for costs incurred while on Medicaid. I realize people find this hard to believe, but a large portion of medicaid is paid by the state, nearly all of which have balanced budget amendments.

    So yes the state could go after the estate, which includes anything gifted (houses and cash) 5 years prior to joining medicaid.

    Now for the next part... once upon a time, at least 45 states had filial responsibility laws. For purposes of this discussion, children would be held liable for parent's indigent care and expenses. The term indigent has not been clarified for this purpose, but 29 states still have these laws on the books. How is this information so readily available? There was a lawsuit in Pennsylvania, just a few years back, where the nursing home sued the son and won. It was upheld in the State's Supreme Court. As a result, several states are now looking into their filial responsibility laws. I feel confident in saying it is not being done with a benevolent heart.
     
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  17. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    @Harry Havens This is a good point about paying back. My experience is with people at the end of life who won't be out making money again, so this isn't something I considered or was aware of. Thanks for the information.

    Now this issue about children being liable, I have never heard of.

    If people give away cash out of their account, I guess the government can know about that. But they won't know if the kids go into the house and take unknown items, jewelry or even money that has no record, prior to the elderly going into a nursing home.

    I do know that when I knew of families with "medical pending" they would get bills from pharmacy for example and the pharmacy would tell them not to pay those bills, when the medical is approved they will be paid back at that time.

    It's complicated and I'm wondering what I'll be dealing with in the future here.
     
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  18. Harry Havens

    Harry Havens Well-Known Member
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    https://www.paelderlaw.net/pennsylv...onsible-for-parents-unpaid-nursing-home-bill/
    It varies by state.

    Further reading...http://triblive.com/news/valleynewsdispatch/9757033-74/law-nursing-support

    A summary from this page... http://www.obermayer.com/blog/a-look-at-filial-responsibility-in-pennsylvania-and-new-jersey/

    Thus far, Kentucky has not gone down this road. However, it is not beyond the realm of possibility as the ACA had 600,000 enrollees into the expanded medicaid program. All was fine and dandy when the Federal government was paying 100% of the costs of those enrollees. However, the Federal government portion is now sliding downward to 90% by 2020. In Kentucky, that means an additional $600M per year in revenue will be needed to fund the program, or cuts to the budget of that amount. With teacher's in an uproar over their underfunded pension, etc., things will become very interesting... when the economy slips. When any government wants money, what was once taboo... suddenly becomes a reasonable approach.
     
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  19. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    I certainly didn't read word for word in the links above but it appears that there were assets still in place at the time of the nursing home resident's death which their children then took, or had taken within the allotted years. 5 years. This doesn't apply if the parent had absolutely no assets or they had been drained prior to the parent going on medical in the nursing home. At the time of the death, then there would have been no assets to go after. It doesn't look like they can go after the children's bank accounts, home or future earnings if none of their assets came from their parents.
     
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