When most people think of elder law, they think of helping seniors pay for long-term health care. Long-term health care includes:
- Home health care;
- Assisted living; and
- Nursing home care.
Generally speaking, there are four ways to pay for long-term health care:
- Private pay;
- Long-term care insurance;
- Minnesota state programs such as medical assistance, the Elderly Waiver Program (EW), and the Group Residential Housing Program (GRH); and
- Federal programs such as Medicare.
Most people pay for care with a combination of these funding sources. The problem with long-term care is that it is expensive. Assisted living facilities can cost $4,000 a month. Nursing home care can cost $6,000 to $7,000 a month. Even if people have good retirement income, and have saved a substantial amount in retirement, the cost of long-term care can deplete these resources quickly.
The question is how can people pay for long-term care after they have depleted savings and other resources? For many, the answer is federal and state public assistance programs. Then the question becomes how do people qualify for medical assistance or other programs to help pay for long-term care.