A Solution For Married Couples When It’s Too Late To Plan – Single Premium LTC Insurance
As an elder law attorney, what do you tell your married client when she comes to you seeking advice because her husband has just entered a nursing home. How should she “spend down” their hard earned assets while preparing to put her husband on Medicaid?
Since the home is an exempt asset, you will most likely tell her to pay off the mortgage and put money into the home, ie: get a new roof and furnace, update the kitchen, etc. In addition, you will tell her to purchase a new car, take care of the funeral arrangements, and get her affairs in order, while they spend down their assets until her husband becomes Medicaid eligible.
There is a better way! For example, let’s take a 65 year old couple, Marge and Frank. Frank has just entered the nursing home at a cost of approximately $10,000 per month. As previously discussed, you advised Marge to invest in their home, buy a new car, etc. After exhausting all of these traditional methods, let’s say she is left with $300,000 in countable assets. It will now take approximately 18 months before she “spends down” about $190,000 of the $300,000. At this point, she can keep the maximum $109,560 community spouse allowance and Frank will become eligible for Medicaid.
You now inform Marge that she can purchase a single premium Long Term Care insurance policy on herself! At 65, she can buy a comprehensive plan for a one time payment of anywhere between $40,000 and $80,000. The plan will pay for her should she ever need home health care, assisted living facility or nursing home care. In addition it will improve upon the quality of care she receives, reducing the burden of care on her family and enabling her to get care from whom and where she wants. This solution brings true value to both Marge and her family, in the midst of a difficult and hopeless situation.
This planning is available to a somewhat healthy individual age 79 and younger. Depending upon the amount of single premium your client can and wants to utilize, we will piece together the best solution to meet his or her needs.
Please contact me so that we can discuss how these strategies can benefit your clients and your practice.