The bottom line is that LTC (long term care) insurance has come a long way. There are new types of LTC insurance and even a PA Partnership Care Plan. We encourage our clients to talk to an agent to determine if it is right for them. Specifically, we like the riders that keep our clients in their home and in an assisting living facility as long as possible.
I am not a financial advisor, nor am I licensed to sell insurance, nor can I receive any commission from anyone who does. Thus, I have no incentive to say that I think long-term care policies are important; the reasons may be different than what you might expect.
I always hear the push-back that long-term care insurance is very expensive, and that, in many cases, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Since approximately 2009 Pennsylvania has become a part of something called a partnership care plan.
Essentially, for example, if you have $200,000 of long-term care insurance that pays out, the state will allow you to exempt an additional $200,000 of assets at the time that you enter a nursing home, and still qualify for Medicaid. When the plan first came out, the concern was that the state would take over long-term care insurance, but so far that has not occurred.
I believe the reason is because these are still traditional long-term care policies that, if you don’t use it during your lifetime, you lose its value at your death.
However, more recently long-term care insurance companies have come out with what is called a hybrid policy, which is a life insurance policy that has a rider for long-term care insurance. The main reason that I like long-term care policies, specifically the ones that have riders to provide for care in the home or in the personal care home, is because more and more, people want to live at home as they age and until they die.
In all of my years of practice, no one has ever told me that they want to go into a nursing home. I often hear that they want to stay home, or they want to stay in a personal care home, but unfortunately, it is too expensive, or the assets will become completely depleted.
Although I understand that long-term care insurance or a long-term care hybrid policy may seem expensive now, trust me, the peace of mind that it will provide later when you or a loved one wants, and is able, to stay home or go to a personal care home, the money spent on the policy which allows you to do so is small compared to the out-of-pocket cost of that care, and, at least as importantly, your peace of mind.
Although we are fortunate in the state of Pennsylvania to be able to assist people in crisis, we are not as easily able to help people to stay in their homes or in a personal care home. Do yourself and your family a favor, and if at all possible secure your long-term care insurance now for peace of mind later; the earlier the better.
If you want to talk about this or any other estate planning matter your wanting more information about, contact us!
Medicaid is a government program that provides health coverage to individuals, and it is the leading payor of skilled nursing facility care in the United States due to the high cost of such care. Many people mistakenly believe that Medicaid is only for those with minimal resources, but an asset protection plan can help you protect your assets and still qualify for long-term Medicaid benefits.Asset protection planning uses exemptions that allow you to keep some of your assets. For example, in Pennsylvania, you are allowed to keep $45 of your income per month plus any amount you use to pay for health insurance; the rest of your income must be used to pay for your care. When applying for Medicaid, countable resources include assets such as real estate, cash, investment accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance with a face value greater than $1,500, vehicles, and any business interests. However, you can exempt the house you live in, one vehicle, and your spouse can retain their retirement accounts and anywhere between $29,724 and $148,620 of the joint assets, depending upon the total amount of your combined assets. Anything over this calculated amount of exemptions could be put into an asset protection trust and protected from skilled nursing facility costs.An asset protection plan will allow you to immediately protect a portion of your assets, in addition to the assets that are exempt from Medicaid, for significant immediate savings that begin the moment your plan is fully funded.An asset protection plan consists of an asset protection trust, in which you can control the assets, but cant have direct access to them. Giving up direct access to the assets in the trust keeps creditors and predators away. If you do need access to an asset in the trust, you always have the ability to make distributions to someone other than yourself.Asset protection plans not only protect your assets during life but also provide tremendous value for your loved ones when youre gone.Laws and statutes in the area of long-term care Medicaid are always changing, so its highly recommended to review your options with a local elder law/estate planning attorney. At Bellomo & Associates, we can help you learn more about asset protection plans and how they can benefit you and your family while protecting your legacy from the rapidly rising cost of long-term care. Dont wait lets get your estate plan in place!Are you ready to start protecting your assets and planning for long-term care? Contact Bellomo & Associates today to register for an educational workshop. We can help you create a customized asset protection plan and provide guidance on long-term care Medicaid eligibility and planning. Dont wait until its too latetake action now and secure your financial future.
Protecting your health and well-being is a top priority, especially as we get older. One important way to safeguard yourself is by creating a health care power of attorney document. This legal document designates a trusted individual to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. But as important as creating this document is, its not enough to simply have it you also need to make sure its in the right hands.A recent story shared by a friend highlights just how critical it is to ensure your healthcare power of attorney is given to the appropriate parties. In this case, a woman was acting as the power of attorney for her mother but didnt have the document on hand when her mother needed medical attention. The hospital demanded the document immediately, and in the chaos of the moment, the daughter ended up agreeing to have her mother fill out a new one on the spot.The problem arose when the nurse asked who should be listed as a power of attorney. The daughter suggested including herself and her mothers husband, who had raised her and was like a father to her. But her mother insisted that only her daughter be listed, causing tension and awkwardness between the family members. It was a situation that could have been avoided if the daughter had simply provided the existing document to the hospital.This story underscores the importance of not only creating a healthcare power of attorney but also ensuring that it is given to the appropriate parties. At Bellomo & Associates, we urge our clients to not only create these documents but to also provide copies to their doctors and keep them on file at hospitals. We provide extra copies so family members can have them as well. Taking these steps can help you avoid any unnecessary stress or heartache should an emergency situation arise.Creating a healthcare power of attorney is a smart move, but its only half the battle. To ensure that your wishes are carried out properly, its crucial to share the document with your healthcare providers and loved ones. Dont let a lack of preparation cause unnecessary tension or problems for your family take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.Please give us a call at 717-845-5390 and well set you up with a free consultation or register for a free workshop by clicking here.
I have been an Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney for approximately 20 years. I have been fortunate enough to obtain the designation to become a Certified Elder Law Attorney and to receive a Master of Law in Taxation and a certificate in Estate Planning. There is no doubt that finding Elder Law as a career was the best thing that allowed me to go to work every day, excited to assist people and help them. Over the years, I have known a bit about Life Care Planning and have admired it from a distance. The bottom line was I did not understand it nor truly understand what the purpose was and how it could help clients. Over time, I became frustrated in meetings when clients would ask me if their mom was safe to be at home, or what modifications would need to be done to keep mom at home, or how long could mom stay in the assisted living, and under what circumstances would she then have to move on to another level of care. I did not know the answers to many of these questions and, although I did have referral sources, I felt inadequate, or disappointed, that I was not able to help the client directly. I have also known Meg Motter for many years. Meg is a Masters prepared Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been in the industry for most of her career. I knew I always wanted to work with Meg, but unfortunately, the timing and the money never worked out until the Spring of 2021. When the opportunity presented itself and she was available, I acted immediately and, without even truly understanding the Life Care Planning model, jumped in with two feet, knowing I had the right person. Now that our firm is knee-deep in Life Care Planning, there is no doubt that it was the best decision that I have made, mostly for the clients that we serve. The assistance that she can provide, which we were not able to offer previously, is astounding. I believe that everything happens for a reason and, although it took several years for us to embrace the model and to have the right person, there is no doubt that it is the right thing for our clients, and I am excited to share everything about the life care planning model to anyone who will listen. Monthly Life Care Planning Workshops are offered at both our York and Lancaster offices. If you would like to learn more about Life Care Planning and our Client Care Advocate, Meg Motter, LCSW, CDP please reach out to the office at (717) 208-4546.
We Educate so what happened to the Bellomo Family doesn't happen to yours!Our firms mission is to ensure that you and your family never needlessly, painfully suffer. Every team member has a personal story that has brought us here to advocate for you and your family. We want to replace your burden with peace of mind. We have the answers, but more important, we have your back.Bellomo & Associates, LLC advises Individuals and families, business owners, senior citizens, and their families about the estate planning and elder law challenges facing them today. For seniors and their families facing the issues of aging, or for those of any age who wish to protect their familys financial future, we counsel clients and provide solutions on Asset Protection; Specials Needs Trusts; Wills; Trust Design; Medicaid; Estate Planning; Nursing Home Matters; and Estate Administration. For our clients who own businesses, our team assists them with succession planning for their business in conjunction with their estate planning. We have office locations in York, PA, and Lancaster, PA.We offer FREE workshops! Our workshops are fun and entertaining ways to learn! We provide you with the information to decide what is right for you. If after attending, you decide we arent the right fit no problem! Youll never feel any pressure from our team.