Debunking long-term health care myths

By March 24, 2011Uncategorized

All too many Arizonans fail to make adequate preparations for their long-term health care.  And while not everybody adheres to identical reasoning, there seems to be a few common justifications that people give for neglecting these important considerations.  And unfortunately, many of those who overlook the issue of long-term health care miss out on valuable benefits, such as Arizona Medicaid.  To help you conceptualize long-term health care, it is important that you do not ascribe to any of the following false notions.

  1. Medicare will pay for long-term health care. Medicare covers acute care, not long-term health care.  At most, Medicare covers 100 days in a long-term health care facility, and only to those who pay a steep co-pay.
  1. My family will pay for my long-term health care. Unless your family is extraordinarily wealthy, do not count on them to pay for your long-term health care.  On average, care in a skilled nursing facility costs about $6,500 per month in Arizona.
  1. Everybody qualifies for ALTCS/Medicaid. Medicaid is a needs based program, meaning that only those who meet strict medical and financial requirements qualify for ALTCS/Medicaid coverage.
  1. I can give my assets to my children to help me qualify for Arizona Medicaid. ALTCS/Medicaid penalizes applicants with a period of ineligibility for unauthorized asset transfers, so simply giving your assets away will not help you qualify for long-term care coverage.
  1. I can obtain longterm health care insurance when I get older. Long-term health care insurance is actually quite difficult to obtain, and insurers tend not to make it available to older seniors.

This list is but a sample of the reasons that people give for failing to make adequate long-term health care plans.  But these types of ideas often keep people from establishing a course of action that ensures care for them if and when they require it.  Chances are pretty good that if you have yet to sit down with an Elder Law attorney to discuss ALTCS planning, you have a few misconceptions about long-term health care yourself.