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Will Your Parents Be Able to Afford a Nursing Home When the Time Comes?


June 24, 2011 - Nashville, TN

It's the conversation people don't have until they have to, but by then, it's too late.

In 2010, more than 7,000 people turned 65 years old or older every day, a figure that will rise in 2011. Further, an AARP survey revealed that only 4 in 10 of those people feel they will be financially secure for their golden years.

That's why Gabriel Heiser, an attorney with more than 25 years of experience in nursing home law, believes that people should start planning early.

"The average monthly cost of a nursing home is $6,917 per month, and a typical Alzheimer's patient will spend $395,000 for nursing home care," said Heiser, author of "How to Protect Your Family's Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs: Medicaid Secrets" (www.MedicaidSecrets.com). "Medicaid can help, but many feel that they can't qualify. The truth is there are a variety of assets people can own and still qualify."

Heiser listed the asset limits for those applying for Medicaid. They include:

  • Cash - You can possess $2,000 cash that will not be counted as an asset in determining your Medicaid eligibility.
  • Home - There is a $500,000 exclusion toward your home, meaning that if your home is valued at $500,000 or less at the time of your application, it is excluded as an asset.
  • Car - Up until recently, you could exclude only one car at a value of $4,500 or less, however that law has been changed. Now, one automobile of ANY current market value is excluded on your application.
  • Funeral and Burial Funds - If you have a pre-planned funeral or memorial arrangement, the entire value of that plan is excluded. If you do not, a separate bank account that contains $1,500 toward funeral expenses can be excluded.
  • Property - According to federal law, any real or personal property that is essential to self-support is excluded. That could include farms, rental properties and other real estate investments that generate income necessary for self-support.
  • Life Insurance - Only the cash value of a life insurance policy owned by the applicant is counted, thus, all term policies are ignored.

About Gabriel Heiser
K. Gabriel Heiser, J.D.
, has a lawyer with more than 28 years experience in estate planning and Medicaid eligibility planning.

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Ginny Grimsley
ginny@newsandexperts.com

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