Articles Posted in Long-Term Care Planning

Unfortunately, Colorado ranks only 42nd in the country for pediatric mental health. This indicates a lack of access to mental health care for children in Colorado and an unawareness of services available. If you have a child or teen with mental health needs, you know how important high-quality mental health treatment and care can be for your family. But if your income falls above a certain level, you may be worried that using Medicare or Medicaid to cover your child’s needs takes advantage of the system.

There are several benefits, however, to using these benefits that extend beyond employer-covered insurance. These programs are designed to improve access to care beyond what is generally accessible, and it is not taking advantage to make sure your children get the best care available.

Another common misconception is that Medicare and Medicaid are only for physical illnesses or conditions. But they both offer services to people in need of behavioral and psychiatric health care. Although there are limits, copays, and lifetime maximums, these resources can help bridge the gap between the care your child or teen needs and the care currently available without access to public benefits.

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Nursing home and other long-term care costs can be extremely high for the people in need of care and their families. Medicaid and other federal programs may help those in need to pay for long-term care costs. In some states, including Colorado, eligibility for Medicaid assistance with nursing home care is dependent on a person’s income rather than their need. In Colorado, it is common for someone who legitimately cannot afford long-term care to make too much money to qualify for Medicaid assistance.

In Colorado, the Medicaid income limit for 2021 is generally $2382. Persons who generate more than this amount of income will not be eligible for Medicaid assistance in paying for long-term care or nursing home costs. Most long-term care facilities and nursing homes will cost substantially more than this amount for care, and many people with income above the limit will be unable to afford the care they need without additional assistance. With the help of a Colorado estate planning attorney, however, people in need of care may be able to use what is called a qualified income trust to sequester some of their income for care costs while still maintaining Medicaid eligibility and receiving federal benefits.

A qualified income trust, also known as a Miller trust, is a specific legal instrument that is used to manage a person’s income. Income that is deposited in the trust account is not counted toward the income limit for Medicaid eligibility. Miller trusts require a trustee to be appointed to manage the income and expenses of the account. In order to successfully establish a qualified income trust, a person must meet the other requirements for Medicaid eligibility, including a medical need for care, as well as owning less than $2000 in countable assets.

When adults think about the future, it can be difficult to envision where they will be living. For some, they assume they will be staying with a loved one, whereas others save so they can reside in an assisted living facility. There are many long-term care options for seniors as they age—but it may be difficult to discern the differences between these options. Below are explanations for some of the most common long-term care options that can help a person to determine the best choice for them depending on their needs.

Home Care

Home-based care allows individuals to stay at their home—or that of a loved one—and live as independently as possible. Home-based care primarily involves personal care, such as help taking medication, bathing, and daily activities. For the most part, family members, spouses, friends, and neighbors provide this care.

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