Elder Law Services in Truth or Consequence and the Surrounding Area

Elder law encompasses a range of estate planning services specifically tailored to the needs of families and individuals as they age. It addresses various concerns, including senior housing, home care, long-term nursing home care, guardianships, healthcare documents, and Medicare and Medicaid.

The Challenge of Long-Term Care

As our population continues to age, many of us encounter elder law issues, whether for ourselves or our parents. One significant concern is long-term nursing home care, which is typically not covered by standard health insurance. The costs of nursing home care can vary depending on location and required level of care. In 2020, the national median cost for a private room in a skilled nursing facility was $105,850, with an average stay of slightly over two years. Often, individuals end up paying for nursing home care until their personal or family assets are depleted, at which point they may become eligible for Medicaid assistance.

However, strategic planning can help protect your assets, whether for the benefit of your spouse or children. Obtaining long-term care insurance while you are in good health and understanding and utilizing the entitled benefits under Medicare and Medicaid are effective approaches.

Understanding Medicare

Differentiating between Medicare and Medicaid can be challenging for many clients due to their similar names. However, these programs have distinct differences. Medicare is an entitlement program, a federal health insurance program that most individuals enroll in when they turn 65, without financial qualification requirements. It consists of two primary parts: Part A and Part B.

Medicare Part A covers in-hospital care, extended care after a hospital stay, certain home health care services, and hospice services. However, Medicare’s coverage for nursing home care is limited, accounting for less than nine percent of nursing home expenses in the country.

Understanding Medicaid

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that follows federal guidelines but is managed independently by each state. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid is not an entitlement program but rather a form of welfare. Eligibility for Medicaid is determined through a proper application process specific to each state. In New Mexico, there are numerous Medicaid programs available, ranging from basic medical coverage to specific nursing home programs.

We provide assistance to seniors and their families in making difficult decisions regarding long-term care planning, including exploring the potential eligibility for Medicaid benefits.

Exploring Senior Housing Options

Assisting a parent in transitioning to senior housing can be a complex task. Factors such as the loss of a spouse, declining health, or safety concerns may necessitate a move. Recognizing that the current residence is no longer suitable can be emotionally challenging. Finding a new home that is both appealing and suitable presents its own difficulties, as does the process of downsizing belongings accumulated over a lifetime.

Here are some tips to facilitate a smoother transition:

  • Plan ahead and initiate the process before a health crisis occurs, ensuring the individual taking the lead in decision-making.
  • Conduct a thorough assessment of the current situation, considering physical care needs and financial resources. Evaluate the costs associated with staying in the current residence, including renovations, ongoing maintenance, utility bills, taxes, transportation, and food expenses. Create a list of advantages and weigh the option of moving to a senior community.
  • Allow ample time for the move, as transitions often take longer than a year to complete.
  • Explore the wide range of senior housing options available.

Contact your Truth or Consequence Elder Law attorney today to request a consultation.

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