Thinking ahead with ALTCS planning

By November 15, 2010Uncategorized

The New York Times recently ran a story titled Ignore Long-Term Care Planning at Your Peril.  The article primarily focused on long-term care insurance, and the reasons for which people often offer for neglecting to purchase such a policy.  And while the story dealt with preparing for long-term care expenses by purchasing long-term care insurance, many of its key points are just as applicable to ALTCS planning.

Many people find that they are not eligible for Arizona Medicaid, or the ALTCS benefit, when they need it.  They find that had they made preparations earlier on, they could have met ALTCS/Medicaid qualifications, but their failure to engage in ALTCS Medicaid planning prevented them from obtaining ALTCS eligibility.  Herein lies the parallel between purchasing long-term care insurance and ALTCS planning – both strategies may require foresight and planning.

The New York Times piece provided nine reasons that people commonly give for not obtaining long-term care insurance.  Interestingly, people many times give these same excuses for failing to engage in ALTCS planning.  For instance, one reason that people give for failing to prepare for their long-term health care needs is that they believe Medicare will pay for long-term health care, which is untrue.  Another reason that people give is that they don’t believe they will need long-term health care, of which they can never really be certain.  And finally, people sometimes fail to prepare because they believe their kids will take care of them if they need it, but here again they cannot be certain of this.

When it comes to long-term health care, it is true that people can never know for certain whether they will require it.  But, those who do require such care should be prepared financially so that they can obtain it without delay.  While long-term health care insurance is indeed an option, it is by no means the only option.  In fact, ALTCS planning is many times a superior method of preparing for long-term health care.  It is a good idea for everybody to speak with an Elder Law attorney about ALTCS eligibility to see whether ALTCS planning may be useful to his or her specific situation.