When the time comes to consider assisted living for a loved one in Troy, families often find themselves with a list of questions and concerns. It's a big transition, and understanding the financial implications is crucial. Here's where a Troy elder lawyer can offer clarity and guidance to help you make informed decisions.
Will Assisted Living Force the Sale of Assets?
One common worry is whether moving into an assisted living facility necessitates the sale of personal assets. In Michigan, assisted living facilities do not force the sale of assets, but they may request to check the amount of income and assets the elder has to ensure they have sufficient resources to pay for their room, board and care at the facility. The facility does not want people moving in and then moving out within a short period of time because the elder could not afford it. The reason for this is the facility incurs costs when residents move in and out and they may also lose the opportunity to rent the space to another resident who would have stayed there for a longer period of time.
Frequent moves are also disruptive and stressful for the elder and their family. For seniors with dementia, frequent moves can also be harmful to them.
Could an Assisted Living Facility Place Liens?
Concerns about liens are understandable. Generally, assisted living facilities don't place liens on properties like nursing homes might under Medicaid estate recovery rules in other states. However, it's important to understand the specific agreements of the facility in question. An elder lawyer can help dissect these agreements and protect your loved one's assets and your assets from potential complications. For example, it's important to know who the responsible party under the agreement is because the responsible party can be sued by the facility if the lease is broken, or the facility is not paid. It is also important to review if the rental contract requires other people to guaranty it, which can also result in financial risk to the guarantor.
What Happens When Money Runs Out?
The question of what happens if your loved one's funds are depleted is a pressing one. Assisted living facilities typically require private pay, and if the money runs out, the elder may need to move out of assisted living and move to a nursing home that participates in the Medicaid program. Your elder lawyer can help you understand the financial planning required to prepare for such situations and can guide you through the options available, including potential benefits or programs for which your loved one may be eligible.
For example, the Aid and Attendance program may pay wartime veterans up to $2,727 per month and surviving spouses of wartime veterans up to $1,763 per month. Receiving this additional monthly income as soon as possible can help the elder pay for assisted living for a longer period of time.
Addressing the Medicare Misconception
Many families assume that Medicare will cover the cost of assisted living, but this is a common misconception. Medicare may cover short-term stays in a skilled nursing facility, typically up to 100 days, and only under specific conditions where recovery is anticipated. For long-term assisted living care, Medicare is not a viable payment option because Medicare will not pay for the cost of room and board in an assisted living facility. Your elder lawyer can explain the differences in coverage and help you plan accordingly.
The MI Choice Waiver Program
The MI Choice Waiver program is a Medicaid program that may help with the costs of care in an assisted living facility and in some cases help with the room and board costs. Though most assisted living facilities choose not to participate in this program, some do. In order to qualify for MI Choice Waiver benefits in an assisted living facility, the elder must meet all of the Medicaid income and asset criteria. An important income rule to know is that the elder's gross monthly income must not exceed $2,742 per month in order to qualify for the MI Choice Waiver program.
The Role of a Troy Elder Lawyer
An elder lawyer's role is to help families navigate the maze of legal and financial planning when it comes to elder care options. From safeguarding assets to understanding the intricate landscape of elder care funding, a lawyer can provide the knowledge and resources needed to make this transition as smooth as possible.
If your family is facing these decisions in Troy or the rest of Oakland County, Michigan, Andrew Byers is an elder lawyer who can guide you through this next stage. To get the answers to your questions and begin planning for assisted living needs, contact our Troy elder law firm at (248) 469-4261 or by using the contact form on this website. First, we would have a short telephone call to make sure your situation is something I can help with and if it makes sense, you can then schedule a more comprehensive consultation.