Arizona Elder Care Law
Serving Clients in Gilbert, Queen Creek and the Surrounding Area
Arizona Elder Care Law is not just for “old” people, it is another aspect of estate planning focusing primarily on the needs of families and individuals as they age. Issues of aging include senior housing and home care, long-term (or nursing home) care, guardianships and health care documents, Medicare and Medicaid.
Every day, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65. A growing number, currently over 70%, will need some form of long-term care during their lifetime. The average total cost per person of this care is estimated at $266,000. Unfortunately, 25% of households have no retirement savings at all, and the median savings for those who do is less than $75,000. Proper estate planning is now required simply to prevent insolvency for individuals and their families.
Our Arizona Elder Care services include:
- Creation of a Family Protection Analysis Report or Family Legacy Plan.
- Drafting and implementing asset protection and Medicaid (ALTCS) compliant trusts
- Counseling clients and their families on proactive aging strategies.
- Helping you understand Long Term Care insurance and options
Though the responsibility of caring for someone can be stressful, knowing your options will reduce that pressure. You’re not in this alone. If there is someone in your life that you love, the best gift that you can give is to plan ahead.
Senior Housing & Long-Term Care Options
The Long Term Care Dilemma
As our population ages, more and more of us confront elder law-related issues, whether for ourselves or our parents. One of the most pressing issues is long-term nursing home care, which usually is not covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare. Depending on where you live and the level of care needed, nursing home care costs can vary greatly. In 2019, the national median cost for a private room in a skilled nursing facility was $102,200. The average stay is slightly more than two years. Most people end up paying for nursing home care until their personal (or family) assets are depleted, then they may qualify for Medicaid (ALTCS) to pick up the cost. Careful planning, however, can help protect your assets, whether for your spouse or for your children. One approach is to purchase long-term care insurance while you are healthy enough to qualify, and make preparations to ensure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled under Medicare and Medicaid (ALTCS).
Clients are frequently confused over the differences between Medicare and Medicaid known in Arizona as the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) under ACCCHS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System). Though their names are very similar, the programs are quite different. Medicare is an “entitlement” program, a federal health insurance program in which most people enroll when they turn 65 years old. There are no financial qualification rules. Medicare has two primary parts: Part A and Part B.
Medicare Part A covers in-hospital care, extended care after a hospital stay, some home health care services, and hospice services. The rules for nursing home coverage are very strict and, in fact, Medicare pays for less than nine percent of nursing home care in this country.
Arizona Medicaid (ALTCS)
ALTCS is Arizona’s arm of a joint federal-state program subject to certain federal requirements, each state implements its own regulations on how the program is managed. Medicaid is not an “entitlement” program like Medicare, but rather a form of welfare. Medicaid eligibility is determined after the proper application is submitted to the state. There are many Medicaid programs available in Arizona, from basic medical coverage to nursing home programs. We assist seniors and their families in making the tough decisions regarding long-term care planning, including whether Medicaid eligibility may be an option.
Senior Housing Options
Helping a parent move to senior housing can seem more intimidating than orchestrating a rocket launch. The death of a spouse, declining health or safety concerns can trigger the need to move. The first phase comes with the realization that what has been “home” is no longer suitable. Emotional ties to a place are hard to overcome. Finding a new “home” that is both appealing and appropriate isn’t easy, and neither is culling through a lifetime’s accumulation of “stuff.”
Here are some tips to help make the transition easier:
- Plan ahead. Don’t wait for a health crisis to start the process. The smoothest transitions occur when the person moving participates in the preparations.
- Get a full assessment of the current situation. Physical care needs and financial resources are where to start. Consider the costs of staying in place, including renovation and ongoing maintenance. Add the cost of rising utility bills and taxes, and don’t forget transportation and food. Make a list and decide whether it makes more sense to stay or move to a community designed for seniors.
- Take a multi-phase approach. Seniors often take longer than a year to actually make the move.
- Fully explore new housing options. Senior living offers a broader range of options than ever before.
- Genworth: Compare Long Term Care Costs Across the United States
- MorningStar: 40 Must-Know Statistics About Long-Term Care
We can Help
Click here to schedule a free strategy session or call (602) 932-3187 to speak with a member of our team.