What to Consider If You May Depend on Medicaid for Nursing Care

Live long enough, and you may face a difficult transition: You need nursing home care, but your assets will run out long before your life ends. If you have no assets, Medicaid will pay for nursing care, but only once you’ve used up most of your own resources.
 
Scrambling to qualify for Medicaid can be difficult and leave your spouse or heirs with less than you had hoped. That’s why the best time to plan for the possibility you will outlive you assets is years or even decades before your money runs out. “You don’t want to wait until you know it’s going to happen,” says Drew Horter, president of Horter Investment Management in Cincinnati. “Planning should start while you’re still young.” Nearly all Americans, no matter their income or assets, are eligible for Medicare to cover their health care in retirement. While Medicare covers doctor visits, treatments, hospitalization and drugs, it does not pay for long-term care. Medicare will cover a short-term stay in a nursing home for rehab, but it will not cover any type of long-term care.
 
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