For better, for worse, in sickness and in health…our government has incorporated those marriage vows into our laws about who is responsible for the costs of long-term care. The law says all the assets are available for long term care, no matter who they belong to. That means if you are married and your spouse needs a nursing home, everything you own (with a few exceptions) even if the asset is in only your name, is considered available to pay for that nursing home bill.
Long-term care can be incredibly expensive which means it may be important to start planning early. The average cost of skilled nursing care in Pennsylvania is over $120,000.00 per. It may be difficult to have to spend that kind of money when you would much rather preserve your assets for your children and other beneficiaries. If you plan appropriately with an elder law attorney, though, there may be ways to get some or all of these expenses covered.
It is important to know that a prenuptial agreement cannot save you. The government does not recognize prenuptial agreements in determining how many assets are available to pay for long-term care. The assets of both spouses are considered. But there are options that can protect assets which an experienced elder law attorney who specializes in Medicaid can help you with. With the right planning in advance you may qualify for Medicaid, even if you currently exceed the threshold levels.
Even if you have a prenuptial agreement in place, you should consult an experienced elder law attorney to assist you in employing other strategies to help you qualify for Medicaid.
Our office is here to help you put a plan in place that will assist you in qualifying for Medicaid benefits to cover the costs of long-term care. Please contact Aviv S. Bliwas, Esquire at 717-761-4540 or [email protected].