Why would your parents want to talk to an elder law expert about Medicaid planning? There are several reasons. One of the biggest occurs when one parent is healthy, but another has a debilitating illness like Alzheimer’s disease.
At some point, the need for long-term care is essential, but it’s also expensive. Health insurance and Medicare do not always cover the care that someone with Alzheimer’s needs. If the cost of care threatens to drive the surviving spouse into bankruptcy, it’s best to start looking into the Medicaid process.
When money is running out, it’s important to ask your parents these questions. Have this conversation as early as you can, as Medicaid applications take time and can be stressful.
What Are Their Long-Term Goals?
Do your parents plan to age at home, or are they okay moving in with a family member? If so, is their house paid off? That can free up some money for caregivers, but they don’t want to spend so much that the other spouse is left penniless.
While you’re discussing their goals, find out if they have long-term care insurance. If so, it’s time to look at that policy and see what it covers and how long the coverage will last.
How Is Their Health?
Talk about your parents’ health needs. Some chronic health conditions are expensive. The prescription medications, medical costs, and care needs vary from one disease to the next. They can’t forgo quality care due to worries of the expense, however. They need to plan accordingly.
Even if they’re healthy, they need to consider the future. If your dad’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all had strokes, he faces a higher stroke risk. Your mom’s family has a long history of breast cancer. That increases the chances that she’ll also be diagnosed. They may spend quickly on medical bills and medications.
Do They Have a Will?
If your parents have a will, was it drafted by an elder law attorney or created for free online? To ensure they don’t put their assets at risk, they need to have an expert in Medicaid planning look at their will. If they don’t have a will, they need one.
Medicaid rules can be very complex and challenging for the layperson to understand. If your parents believe they’ll eventually need to qualify for Medicaid, talk to an elder law expert. A specialist in Medicaid planning can help them understand the five-year look-back period, Medicaid rules, and when it’s time to apply.
Schedule a consultation with an elder law specialist about Medicaid planning today. The sooner your parents understand the rules to Medicaid, the better it will be when it’s time to apply.