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A Ticking Time Bomb…Long-Term Care Expenses

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Recently, I met with a family needing to qualify a sick loved one (“Mom") for Medicaid so she could receive long-term care assistance. Unfortunately, the test to qualify (less than $2,000 in assets AND less than $2,382 in monthly income) prevented Mom from obtaining the care she desperately needed. The modest savings Mom had accrued over many years would have to be spent down, and even then, Mom’s modest monthly income would be a problem.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most people over 65 will eventually need help with daily living tasks, such as bathing, eating or dressing. Men will need assistance for an average of 2.2 years, while women will need it for 3.7 years. What’s more, the cost of such care is climbing rapidly:

· The median annual cost of a private room is now over $100,000

· Four out of 10 will opt for paid care at home, with an annual cost of over $50,000

· Overall, half of people over 65 will incur long-term care costs, and 15% will incur more than $250,000 in costs

I have clients who would love to pay for their own long-term or assisted living care, but their income (for example, $2,400/month) won’t let them. The conundrum is this – they make too much to qualify, but their income doesn’t come anywhere near what’s necessary to pay for their care.

BUT HOPE IS NOT LOST! The law allows you to take action to protect and preserve assets while still permitting Medicaid approval… things such as (1) permissible spend down options, (2) caregiver agreements, (3) irrevocable funeral trusts, (4) Medicaid asset protection trusts, and (5) qualified income trusts are all available options.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help preserve what you’ve worked so hard to build while still qualifying for crucial government assistance, please contact me at (813) 244-7758 or


Ross Spano

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