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How to minimize long-term care costs

New York residents who are 65 years old have a 70 percent chance of needing long-term care in the future. In 2016, the median national monthly cost of a private room in a nursing home was $7,698. That was according to the Cost of Care Survey conducted by Genworth. One way to keep the cost of care down is to buy a long-term care insurance policy.

A long-term care insurance policy pays out when an individual needs help with two or more activities of daily living. Examples of daily living activities include help going to the bathroom or transferring in and out of a wheelchair. Other activities include bathing, eating and dressing. However, it may be difficult for individuals to find such a policy as few insurance companies offer it. The cost of such a policy may also be expensive with premiums going up as a person ages.

Other options include buying a living benefits policy that combines long-term care with life insurance. Unlike a traditional long-term care insurance policy, money can be passed down to heirs if a policyholder doesn't use his or her benefits. Those who are unable to get an insurance policy may wish to talk with an attorney about ways to shield benefits while still being able to qualify for Medicaid.

Those who are looking to preserve assets for themselves or future generations may wish to consult with an elder law attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help draft documents that shield assets from Medicaid or other care providers that may otherwise have a claim to them. An attorney may also be able to advise clients as to how living benefit policies may provide for their needs now while possibly helping to provide money for future generations.

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