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Medicaid planning could assist as long-term care undergoes reform

Family discussions about putting a loved one in long-term care can be very complicated and emotional. After all, thinking about a loved one having advanced medical needs isn't something people generally want to do. However, people may reach a certain point when they need hands-on care in their homes or a nursing home.

Knowing that people only want the best for their loved ones, discussing long-term care options may need to be done sooner rather than later. Receiving high-quality care can prove to be a major financial burden, which is why making preparations through Medicaid planning can be immensely helpful.

For many people, Medicaid pays for all or a portion of long-term care expenses. Keeping this in mind, assets can be set aside in order to help supplement payments made by the Medicaid program in order to ensure the best possible care.

Of course, programs like Medicaid have been the frequent subject of discussion and reform. New York is among 26 states that have changed the way that long-term care is publicly funded through Medicaid. Now, state funds are being put into private, managed care plans.

According to a report from the New York Times, this shift is intended to save public dollars and allow individuals to receive care in their own homes as long as possible. If in-home care is no longer a feasible option, then decisions to fund residency in a long-term care facility may be made. However, the news report details a number of issues surrounding whether or not funding for care is properly disbursed to those who need it.

Understanding that the landscape of Medicaid funding for long-term care can change over time, individuals may need to make careful plans and adjust them as needed. Of course, this can be a complicated and frustrating process, which is why a trusted attorney may be able to provide guidance.

More than anything, taking time to go through Medicaid planning can provide peace of mind. Rather than scrambling for options when long-term care is needed, individuals and their loved ones can rest easier knowing they have a plan in place.

Source: The New York Times, "Pitfalls Seen in a Turn to Privately Run Long-Term Care," Nina Bernstein, March 6, 2014

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