While the thought may be an unpleasant one, the reality is that with the number of two-income households growing over recent years, more people will be relying on Colorado nursing homes. Indeed, it is estimated that 69 percent of people will need long-term care at some point in their life. As is the case with most major life events, significant time, expense, and trouble can be avoided by taking proactive action. Specifically, a Colorado estate planning attorney can assist clients in coming up with their nursing home planning needs.
For those who have had loved ones in a nursing home, the high cost of long-term care in Colorado may not come as a surprise. However, for others, it may be shocking to learn that long-term care can cost as much as $7,000 per month, or $84,000 per year. For many families, this is an unaffordable expense, at least in the long term.
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the costs of Colorado nursing home care. And while Medicaid does cover these expenses, qualifying for Medicaid can be confusing, especially for those with significant income or assets. In Colorado, Medicaid is referred to as “Health First Colorado” and is administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.
There are a few different types of Medicaid in Colorado. Most relevant for those anticipating the need for long-term care is Institutional/Nursing Home Medicaid. The 2020 income and asset limits for Institutional/Nursing Home Medicaid are as follows:
- Income: $2,349 per month for individuals or married spouses applying separately and $4,698 for married couples applying together.
- Assets: $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for married couples applying together.
For Medicaid eligibility purposes, “income” is defined as any money that the applicant receives. This includes, rental income, social security benefits, wages, alimony or spousal support, veterans’ benefits, stock dividends, and IRA distributions. Along those lines, assets are also broadly defined, including all checking and savings accounts, rental properties, and other investments.
Making matters more difficult for those anticipating the future need for long-term care is the five-year look back period. Upon receiving an application, Medicaid will review the past five years of financial activity, identifying any prohibited transfers. If an applicant is found to have made any prohibited transfers, their eligibility can be delayed.
Those who foresee an upcoming need for Colorado nursing home care can find ways to reduce their assets and income in advance of applying legally. While this is easiest when outside the five-year look back period, there may be other available options, even for those with a shorter time frame.
Contact a Dedicated Colorado Springs Estate Planning Law Firm for Immediate Assistance
If you foresee the need for long-term care for yourself or a loved one, contact the Braverman Law Group for assistance. Our dedicated Colorado Medicaid planning attorneys can help you qualify for Medicaid quickly, and without unnecessarily paying for expensive long-term care out-of-pocket. Our compassionate attorneys place your needs first, and actively listen to your needs before recommending any course of action. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Colorado Springs estate planning attorneys today, call 303-800-1588.