Asset Protection in Florida: What is Long-Term Care Planning?
In their later years, many people require some form of assisted living care. The cost of obtaining assisted living services in Florida is extremely high: The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports that the average cost of a private room in a nursing home is $7,698. For obvious reasons, few families can truly afford the cost of long-term care. Without protection planning, nursing home costs or other long-term care costs could eat away at a person’s entire life savings.
The good news is that there are some useful and effective estate planning strategies available that can be used to protect one’s assets against long term care costs. Here, our dedicated Tampa, FL asset protection attorneys highlight the most important things that you need to know about Medicaid crisis planning in Florida.
An Overview of Long-Term Care Planning in Florida
Medicare Does Not Cover Nursing Homes
Many senior citizens in Florida rely on Medicare for medical coverage and other health-related services. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover most nursing home costs. In fact, the program will only approve coverage for limited, temporary nursing home needs. You should not expect Medicare to provide long-term assisted living coverage.
Medicaid Can Offer Financial Help
While Medicare offers little help, Medicaid is a federal program that does provide financially vulnerable seniors with access to long-term care. For those who meet the strict financial eligibility requirements, Medicaid will cover much, if not all, of the costs of a nursing home.
Though, to be clear, Medicaid has very strict financial eligibility standards. When applying for long-term care coverage through Medicaid, the agency will take a very close look at a person’s financial means.
There is a 60-Month ‘Look Back’ Period
Medicaid officials will review a person’s financial transactions for the last five years. This is known as the ‘look back’ period. Essentially, the purpose of such regulations is to ensure that people do not transfer their assets to their loved ones simply to qualify for long-term care coverage through Medicaid. This is why pre-planning is needed to help people protect their Medicaid eligibility and their life savings.
In practice, effective long-term care plan should start early. If you or your loved one wants to protect financial assets from potential future nursing home or long-term care costs, you should consult with an experienced Tampa, FL estate planning lawyer right away. Your lawyer will be able to review your financial circumstances and help you put the proper asset protection strategy into place so that your entire life savings not lost to long term care.
Get Help From Our Tampa, FL Asset Protection Lawyers Right Away
At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., our Tampa asset protection attorneys are committed to providing effective, fully personalized legal representation to clients. If you have questions about assets protections and long term care planning, we are here to help. To set up a completely confidential initial consultation, please contact us today. From our office location in Tampa, we handle estate planning matters throughout the region, including Hillsborough County, Pasco County, and Pinellas County.