Long-term care insurance covers personal care and other daily living tasks that last a substantial time. While often incorrectly associated with medical care, long-term care concerns an individual’s everyday living needs—household chores, regular bathing, food preparation, getting around the residence, shopping for essentials, and dressing oneself.
Persons of varying ages, genders, health statuses, and disabilities often require some amount of long-term care. The phrase ‘long-term care’ is often used regarding supervised living facilities providing various levels of care. Still, family or private home care can also be an option depending on the health requirements of the person needing care and their social networks.
California Long-Term Care Insurance Attorneys
If you need help with preparing for your future, including the costs associated with aging and concerns regarding long-term care, do not delay in contacting an experienced estate planning lawyer in California. Long term care insurance helps to protect you against the burden of paying for nursing home care in the event of illness or serious injuries. The attorneys at Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. assist clients to prepare for the costs associated with long term care, by implementing a combination of strategies which can include long term care insurance, trusts and more.
To schedule your first confidential consultation, call (877) 585-1885 today. Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. assists clients throughout the state of California including Ventura County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Los Angeles County, and Kern County.
- Options For Paying For Long-Term Care
- Choosing The Right Long-Term Care Insurance
- Estate Recovery
- Additional Resources
An individual may pay for long-term care in several ways. Qualifying veterans may receive long-term care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The government provides Medicare, a social security net, to ensure that a basic level of care is available to most individuals. However, the coverages associated with Medicare are limited, and, as explained later, these benefits are paid out subject to potential clawback provisions. The State of California provides access to long-term care insurance through the California Partnership for Long-Term Care. Communities across California generally implement statewide programs on behalf of the state, and some local governments may provide residents with additional local programs. These local programs can range from free busing to help with housework. Finally, some individuals prefer to self-insure, that is, put aside the funds and rely on these savings. Sometimes caregivers providing substantial long-term care are paid out of the estate, and sometimes these caregivers are uncompensated friends and family.
The main factors to consider when choosing the best long-term care insurance policy are the policy price and the policy benefits. More benefits generally correlate to higher-price policies, and lower-priced policies correlate to lower benefit coverages. Understanding what an individual policy covers for the price is essential to choosing the best plan. Unfortunately, legal requirements, vague terms, hidden exclusions, and some of the terms of contractual language can be challenging for an individual to fully understand without the assistance of counsel.
In addition to these factors, another significant aspect of finding the best long-term care insurance is choosing when to buy a policy. When a policy is purchased earlier in life, it is generally more affordable and offers more benefits. However, an advisor protecting a client’s wealth with proper estate planning may advise using current assets to offset costs in exchange for tax benefits. Depending on the types of property left in an estate, how the estate is structured, and which creditors have claims against an estate, planning for long-term care often involves protecting assets by providing a private payor, often an insurance company. In this way, proper estate planning with the assistance of an attorney can mean the difference between leaving wealth for loved ones and leaving debts that loved ones must pay out to settle a withered estate.
By law, in most cases, the government will move to recover long-term care paid out by public benefits systems. This reality might be a substantial factor when evaluating and prioritizing estate planning needs. The living estates of persons needing long-term care can quickly be emptied, and whatever remains could be clawed back by the government. The California Department of Health Care Services is tasked with attempting to recover benefits paid by the state and federal governments from the testamentary estate of the person who needed long-term care.
Estate recovery can touch many types of assets, even those not generally subject to the probate process. There are also exemptions under California statutory law that shield certain benefits paid, particularly when vulnerable dependents or surviving spouses are involved.
In California, qualifying insurance policies may be included in the state and federal governments’ Long Term Care Insurance Partnership program. While complex in form, in essence, the program protects the personal assets of an insured individual in an amount equal to that covered by the insurance company. First, this helps insured people by discounting these assets from Medicaid eligibility requirements. Additionally, this program allows insured persons who need care to retain assets in their testamentary estates even after Medicaid benefits are paid.
The California Partnership for Long-Term Care | Department of Health Care Services – This information from the California Department of Health Care Services can help explain more of the basics surrounding long-term care.
LongTermCare.gov | Department of Health & Human Services – This federal website is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living and Administration on Aging. It gives information on long-term care, lists various services available to those interested in long-term care, and links to organizations and other entities dedicated to helping people plan for their long-term care needs.
Estate Planning | California State Attorney General – California’s Attorney General provides general information to those interested in developing their estate plans. This website answers some basic questions to help clients prepare to meet with their estate planning attorney.
Ventura Long-Term Care Insurance Lawyers | Ventura County, CA
Part of having a coherent and complete estate plan in California is considering how to pay for rising long term healthcare costs. With the right planning, not only can your aging loved one benefit, but you can also have peace of mind knowing that they are adequately provided for. If you’re considering adding long-term care insurance to a family member’s estate plan or your plan, seek the guidance of the attorneys at Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd.
Our estate planning attorneys at Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. have decades of experience helping families transition smoothly to the next chapter of their lives. Get started today by calling our offices at (877) 585-1885 to set up your first consultation. We have offices in Ventura, Bakersfield, Valencia, Westlake Village, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo, California.