RULE OF HALVES
Many people find themselves going into nursing homes earlier than expected and without the appropriate planning. Things happen in life to derail our best laid or thought out plans. With more and more elderly Americans living longer, the need for nursing home care is increasing and will continue to increase indefinitely. Whenever someone does not properly plan for going into a nursing home, often their personal funds will be the basis upon which they will pay for their nursing home care. Certainly, there are those amongst us who purchase long term care insurance but for the majority of us, we rely on utilizing Medicare or private insurance or some combination of the two.
This is a misconception, insofar as the most that Medicare will pay for is 20 days for full nursing home care and up to 80 days partial care, for a total of 100 days. Moreover, this stay must be preceded by a three day hospital stay. Any more time in the nursing home requires that the patient either pay through private insurance or by private pay. Granted entry into a nursing home often comes as a surprise to many, but for those who have an idea that they may have to enter into a nursing home, they scramble last minute to dispose of their assets with the mistaken belief that they will be able to show to the government that they do not have any assets and are thus eligible for Medicaid, to pay for their further nursing home stay.