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What are some options for paying for long-term care?

As the baby-boomer population in New Jersey ages, they need to give some thought to their elder years. They may picture living in an assisted living facility or nursing home, where their daily needs can be taken care of by professionals. Others may prefer to stay in the comfort their own house, and receive in-home health care as needed. No matter what they choose, however, they'll also have to consider how they will pay for long-term care.

Take Medicare, for example. Medicare payments for long-term care are limited. Medicare will cover rehabilitative care or skilled services received in a nursing home, but only for up to 100 days in such a facility. Medicare will also cover skilled in-home health services, but only for a certain amount of time. Medicare does not cover non-skilled help with daily living activities. Therefore, if a person needs care that is not covered by Medicare will have to be paid for another way, for example, through their insurance policy.

Medicaid, on the other hand, does cover many long-term care services. However, a person's income must not exceed a certain amount and that person must also meet eligibility requirements set by the state in order to qualify. These requirements are based on how much help a person needs with activities of daily living.

Also, some private health insurance policies cover long-term care. However, they may only cover care that is medically necessary, short-term and skilled. That being said, the number of private payment options for long-term care is growing. These include annuities, life insurance, reverse mortgages and long-term care insurance policies.

In the end, there are a number of options for paying for long-term care. If a person has questions about their eligibility for these options or what these options cover, they can consult with their attorney. Elder law attorneys can help with Medicaid eligibility, answer questions about Medicare and can help people set up a special needs trust, if necessary.

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