The chance of a Massachusetts resident age 65 or older needing to move into a nursing home is 50 percent. Even so, long-term health care planning is not something that enough people think about. Without it, a person's retirement and other assets could be drained quickly.
Currently, the average cost for a private room in a nursing home is $75,000. In addition, the average amount of time that a person spends in a nursing home is 2.5 years. When the average cost is multiplied by the average time, the total cost is $185,000. Without the proper resources, other arrangements would need to be made.
Some Massachusetts residents might be under the mistaken impression that Medicare does not cover this type of long-term care. Some services might be covered after a hospital stay of at least three days. However, after the expiration of 100 days, the patient will be responsible for payment. Furthermore, in order to qualify for assistance, one cannot have more than a certain amount of assets.
Without separate long-term health care planning, any assets that were earmarked for heirs and beneficiaries might not be there after the individual passes away. Any estate planning that was done to provide for surviving family members could be for naught if all of the available resources are used to provide for nursing home care. There are numerous options available to individuals who want to ensure that there is money available in case it is needed. Anyone who wants to explore those options should contact an attorney who can help determine the best options based on an individual's circumstances.
Source: katytimes.com, "Few people plan for cost of long-term care", Bob Moos, Sept. 21, 2016