Ohio Nursing Home & Long Term Care: The First Priorities of Late-Life Planning

In Ohio, nursing homes and long-term care needs should be the first priorities of estate planning for folks over 65. Wills, trusts, and other estate planning tools that divide your estate amongst your heirs will mean little if your estate is consumed by the costs of long-term health care. Approximately 75% of people over age 65 have not properly planned for long-term care and are likely to have their estate consumed by care costs or claimed for repayment of those costs under Ohio Medicaid rules. Anyone over age 65, who wants to have an estate to leave their heirs, needs to have planning in place to care for long-term care needs. Paying for Ohio Nursing Homes with Medicaid Ohio nursing homes are very expensive. Fortunately, Medicaid covers most nursing home expenses. The other side of that coin is that Ohio Medicaid rules require that a recipient’s estate repay Medicaid’s costs for their nursing home or other care needs before being passed on to heirs. People are especially vulnerable if they pass on their estate using only wills. Trusts protect assets better, but only under certain circumstances. When qualifying for Medicaid, Ohio Medicaid rules require an applicant to provide financial documentation for the five years prior to application. If the applicant is found to have had assets or resources during that time that could pay for nursing home costs or other care costs, Medicaid can lay claim to those or delay the applicant qualification. This is why planning must be done as early as possible. Even if you place all your assets in an irrevocable trust or you give away all your assets, if you apply for Medicaid within 1 to 5 years, Medicaid can still count those assets against you. If you need to move into one of Ohio’s nursing homes or require other long-term care needs and still have assets that could be claimed by Medicaid, talk to an elder law and estate planning attorney immediately. It’s possible to still save some of those assets, but Paying for Long-term Care with Insurance and Other Resources The other common way to pay for the cost of Ohio nursing homes is through long-term care insurance. However, if you’re already over age 65 long-term care insurance can be very pricey. Your estate planner can help you decide whether this is a good option for you. Veteran’s benefits can also provide resources for long-term care if you’ve served in the armed forces. You and your estate planner will need to contact Veterans Affairs to see what role this will play in your planning. In the end, a combination of strategies that include Medicaid, insurance and other resources is usually employed to help plan for the expenses of Ohio nursing homes and other long-term care needs. The most important thing is that you get started with your planning sooner rather than later. It is difficult to plan for these expenses once the need arises. Click here to receive a free consultation regarding planning for your long-term care needs.