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Two ways to pay for nursing home care in California

Torrance Probate and Estate Planning Attorney

Two ways to pay for nursing home care in California

As your parents grow old, they may start relying on you to help them with small daily tasks. Perhaps you are mowing their lawn or helping them grocery shop. However, a person’s mental and physical health can always take an unexpected turn for the worse. Soon, you may find yourself in a position where you can no longer provide your parents with the care they need. At this point you may consider placing your parents in a nursing home. If so, the first issue you may encounter is how to pay for nursing home care. The following are two options for paying for nursing home care.

Paying for nursing home care with Medicaid

Medicaid is a government program that provides funds to pay for medical costs of those who have minimal income and few resources. Most nursing homes accept Medicaid benefits as a form of payment. It is important to check with your nursing home, however, to ensure they accept Medicaid. Also, you may to “spend down” your assets over time and in an approved manner until you qualify for Medicaid. Note that each state has its own version of Medicaid, so it is important to ensure you understand how California’s Medicaid system works.

Paying for nursing home care with long-term care insurance

If you have long-term care insurance, these benefits may be used to pay for a variety of services such as assisted living, adult day care or possibly a stay in a nursing home. However, every policy is different so it is important to check first to ensure your long-term care insurance will cover a nursing home stay. It is also important to note that some long-term care policies limit coverage if you have a pre-existing condition. Also, check to ensure that the long-term care insurer you are choosing is licensed in California.

Learn more about paying for nursing home care

Nursing home care in California is not cheap, so it is important to ensure you can afford it. Some people may have enough in personal assets and savings to pay for nursing home care, at least for a time, but others do not have such resources. If you feel your parents fall in the latter category, you may want to determine if they qualify for Medicaid, long-term care insurance or if you can utilize other estate planning vehicles such as a special needs trust as a means for paying for nursing home care.