Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the current costs of nursing home care today?

In 2013, the average daily rate for Connecticut nursing home semi-private rooms was $390, or $142,350/year.  Nursing home costs in Connecticut increase about 5% each year.

Will Medicare pay for my nursing home stay?

If you have Medicare coverage, it will pay for a short acute stay in a nursing home, so long as you have first had a Medicare Qualified Stay in a hospital prior to entering the nursing home.  At this time, the Medicare Qualified Stay requires that you were Admitted (not “Under Observation” or “Outpatient”) into the Hospital and stayed three (3) overnights thereafter.

The number of days that Medicare will cover are not guaranteed, but the best case scenario is that Medicare will pay, in full, days 1-20, and all but a daily co-pay, which is about $152/day, days 21-100.  If you have a Supplemental Health Insurance Policy, you should ask if they cover the daily co-pay, so conceivably, your first 100 days might be covered in full by your current insurance.  Please know, however, that Medicare only covers as long as you require a Skilled Nursing Need.

The Nursing Home is requiring that I sign as a Responsible Party-Should I?

Nursing homes are not allowed to require a Guarantor of payment as a condition for admission into their facility, but they will often place pressure on family members to sign as a Responsible Party, indicating that it does not imply a financial obligation to the facility, but rather is simply to “be a contact for emergency reasons”.  Caution is urged, as it is often that the nursing homes are holding Responsible Party’s financially liable to any debt to the facility if the patient does not pay it.  To avoid a lawsuit concerning any financial responsibility for your loved one’s debt to the nursing home, have the patient sign the Admission Agreement themselves.

Should I make gifts to my kids in order to qualify for Medicaid?

Gifting can usually be done, but caution is advised that it is done at the lowest risk to you-from a Medicaid-eligibility standpoint, from a gift tax, income tax and capital gain tax obligation standpoint, and most-importantly to protect your assets from risk of the transferee-their spendthrift issues, creditors, and spouses!

There are also transferee liability considerations, should you make those gifts within two years of filing for Medicaid, and any gift made within Medicaid’s five-year-look-back-period will be scrutinized closely.

Unless an exception applies, for every $11,581.00 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) a person gives away, they are ineligible for Medicaid for one month (the penalty period). A gift of $40,000.00, therefore, results in an approximate three and a half month penalty period ($40,000 divided by $11,581 = 3.45  mos).

Which Estate Planning Documents should I have?

Each Estate Plan is crafted to the particular needs you have, will depend upon the composition of your family, the size of your estate and special considerations of your beneficiaries.  We will recommend the documents that will best accomplish what you need, and they might include any or all of the following:  a Last Will and Testament, Revocable Living Trust, Power of Attorney, Springing Power of Attorney, Appointment of Health Care Representative, Living Will, Designation of Conservator for Future Incapacity, Asset Protection Trust, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust and/or Disposition of Remains.

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