Justin, My mother is in a nursing home for rehab right now, but the staff is confident that she’ll stay for long-term care when rehab ends. To say my dad is worried is an understatement. He’s extremely concerned about being apart from mom, but he’s also in a panic about money. He was told they’d have to private pay until they’re broke before they can expect any financial help. What should I tell him? – June
June, It sounds like your father has received at best incomplete, and at worst downright wrong, information. I can’t help with his concerns about being separated from your mother, but I can help with his worries over finances. Your parents could benefit from two programs, neither of which requires that they private pay the facility until they are broke.
If either of your parents was a war time veteran, the VA Aid and Attendance benefit could help in this situation. Many people assume the VA enters the picture only when a veteran needs care, but sometimes we can pursue the benefit when a veteran’s spouse is in need too.
Medicaid is the other benefit I’d consider. People hear a ton of horror stories about how Medicaid works. Without the right knowledge and experience it can be easy to fall into those traps. But when managed properly, the Medicaid planning and application process is much better than people think. Especially when there is a spouse at home to look out for, Medicaid rules are far more generous than the stories you’ve heard.
If your family is already dealing with long-term care needs, the first thing you should do is contact our office to request a no charge strategy session to find out which benefit will help most in your situation and to work up a plan to qualify. If you’re interested in reading more about the planning options we use in situations like this, pick up a copy of my book, You Need A Plan, at YourPlanMatters.com.