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Financial Expert Explains Nursing Home Finance Planning

The Record Searchlight posted an insightful article this week discussing some financial ins and outs regarding nursing home care. The discussion begins by explaining that many Americans often overlook the financial component of skilled nursing home stays.

Nearly one out of every three Americans will spend at least some time in a skilled nursing facility. The reasons for the stay vary widely, but one of the most common is to recuperate following extended surgery. Interestingly, men average much shorter stays at these facilities than women. The typical male skilled nursing home resident will stay at the facility for nine months, while the average female resident has a three year stay.

One reason for the difference is that men typically die earlier than woman. As men age, their wives are often still around to care for them at home. The surviving wives often do not have a spouse to provide skilled care, necessitating longer times in nursing facilities.

Considering the high use of skilled nursing facilities, it is important for all elderly individuals to consider the possible financial costs of residing in one of these homes. On average, the stay will cost around $75,000 a year. As the article mentions, a combination of Medicare and Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) typically covers the first 100 days of care at a nursing facility following three-day stays at a hospital. After that initial 100 days, however, the financial dynamics change.

Individual long-term care insurance would cover the additional expense, but that must have been acquired well-ahead of the time the resident actually needs to reside in the facility. Without that, residents much either pay the costs themselves or hope to qualify for government Medicaid programs. The government system is based entirely on financial need, calculated according to a combination of factors.

Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti understand the perilous financial situation faced by many elderly individuals in need of long-term nursing home care. We encourage all those seniors and their families to plan ahead for the possible financial implications of these decisions. Be sure to consult experts in the nursing home laws of your state to ensure that you are on proper legal footing with all of your decisions.