Long-term care costs are not covered by private health insurance or any of the Medicare plans. Under traditional Medicare Part A, a three-night hospital stay triggers up to 100 days of skilled care in a nursing home. The majority of long-term care costs are either paid privately by the resident and the resident’s family, long-term care insurance, or paid by Medicaid.
Eligibility for Medicaid is determined based on strict income and asset rules. However, typically a single person can only have a maximum of $2,000 in countable assets plus certain excluded assets such as the individual’s personal residence, one car, personal effects and a pre-paid funeral contract. There are various planning techniques that may allow an individual to protect more assets. However, the Medicaid rules frequently change. Therefore, it is wise to seek the advice of an experienced elder law attorney when considering any type of asset preservation planning.