If you live to age 85, chances are you will suffer from some form of mental impairment. Nearly one half of all Americans who turn age sixty five will need to enter a nursing home. The costs of nursing home care can wipe out a lifetime of savings. Here are some ideas to plan to cover the costs of nursing homes:

  • Medicare provides a limited amount of coverage to persons in a nursing home who need skilled nursing care. Typically, the care is limited by the number of days and reentry in the same year may count toward the maximum days covered.
  • Medicaid is a federal program providing public assistance to pay the costs of custodial care in skilled nursing facilities. MEDICAID ELIGIBILITY IS BASED ON NEED AND IS NOT AN ENTITLEMENT. To be eligible for Medicaid, the applicant must meet the government requirements for income levels and resources.
  • Long-Term Care insurance is another way to cover the costs of nursing homes. The policies are becoming more widely available and cover more long term care options, i.e. home health care. Also, most policies have a cap on maximum benefits and years of coverage and there is often a waiting period before eligibility kicks in.

Mary Lawrence has met the requirements to be recognized as Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation www.nelf.org