Many people across the United States and right here in Pennsylvania are thinking about the extended years of their lives. While people are living longer than ever these days and this is a fantastic feat of medical science, it also increases the likelihood that you will need assistance as you age. It is estimated that many Americans are going to require some form of assistance with daily living at the ends of their lives, and many are trying to plan for it. Some people believe that Medicare will help with the potential costs of long-term care. However, according to Medicare.gov, Medicare does not help cover long-term care expenses. 

By “long-term care expenses,” we specifically mean the fees associated with nursing homes, assisted living centers, and memory care. Medicare will only cover this sort of care in the event of an acute medical necessity, such as an illness or recovery from a procedure. However, this coverage is subject to term limits and can only be accessed at the recommendation of a doctor. Many people will require help with daily activities (like toileting, cleaning, cooking, etc) and this sort of care is not covered by Medicare.  

This is why it is important to start looking at your finances and making plans for late-life living. Medicaid will cover long-term care for those  who meet a certain income threshold, but this is also subject to stringent requirements. For instance, Medicaid has a “look-back” period which is designed to prevent people from offloading their assets to family members in order to avoid paying for long-term care out of pocket.   

For these reasons, it is imperative that estate planning begin early.