Certified Elder Law Attorney, Christopher J. Berry, Esq.,CELA of The Elder Care Firm spoke at the Annual Caregiver Expo presented by the Area Agency on Aging October 13, 2018 at the Novi Suburban Showplace. The annual Caregiver Expo helps south-east Michigan caregivers understand the long-term care journey and gives them tools to become better caregivers for their loved ones. Typically there are over a thousand people each year that attend the caregiver expo. There are many vendors and speakers sharing and presenting information on a variety of topics.
This year, attorney Christopher J. Berry, Esq., CELA of The Elder Care Firm presented on “How to protect yourself from the devastating cost of long-term care.” In his presentation, he covered the common concerns of his clients when they come into his office. They are concerned about their hard earned life savings being consumed by home care costs, assisted living costs, and nursing home costs. Today nursing homes in Michigan can cost between $8,000-$12,000 per month. The average stay in a nursing home is 2 1/2 years and one in two people will set foot in a nursing home. 3 out of every 4 people will need some form of long-term care.
The dilemma then becomes how to pay for the devastating cost of long-term care. This is what attorney Chris Berry covered in his presentation.
Six Ways to Pay for Long-term Care in Michigan according to Chris Berry of The Elder Care Firm
There are six ways to pay for long-term care and only six. The six ways include private paying, the kids paying, long-term care insurance, Medicare, VA Benefits and Medicaid. His presentation focused on long-term care insurance, Veterans Benefits, and Medicaid planning. Long-term care insurance and VA Benefits work great for paying for home care or assisted living, but when you have to pay for the cost of long-term care in a nursing home, then you will want to use Medicaid as a way to pay for long-term care.
To qualify for Medicaid a single individual can only have $2,000 of countable assets. A Married couple, they make you cut your assets in half, and allow the healthy spouse to only keep about $120,000 at most.
In Chris Berry’s long-term care cost presentation, he reviewed planning approaches for Medicaid including setting up a Castle Trust to pre-plan for Medicaid or utilizing a Medicaid Half-loaf plan to protect half of the assets for Medicaid. Attorney Berry shared that they have weekly workshops at the Brighton, Livonia, Novi or Bloomfield Hils offices to go over in more detail the planning options. To learn more call The Elder Care firm at (888) 390-4360.