As you and your spouse get older, it can be comforting to know that nursing homes, assisted living communities and other long-term care facilities are there in and around Sherman. You hope you and your spouse never need to move into a nursing home, but if you become too sick or disabled to care for yourselves, a care facility can help you live with as much comfort and dignity as possible.

However, nursing homes are also very expensive. Most people cannot afford long-term care on their own, so they must engage in long-term health care planning so that they are prepared. This can include two components: long term care insurance and Medicaid planning.

Long term care insurance

This type of insurance can be very useful in helping you pay for a stay in a long-term care facility. But unless you buy a policy while you are still relatively young and healthy, you may not qualify. Insurance companies are allowed to deny coverage for people with certain medical conditions.

Medicaid planning

Medicaid planning is the process of qualifying for Medicaid assistance paying for nursing home care. Medicaid is a need-based program. To qualify, your income and assets must not exceed an amount set by state Medicaid authorities. For 2020, to qualify for Medicaid assistance in Texas for both yourself and your spouse, the two of you cannot earn more than $4,698 per month, or own assets worth more than $3,000. For an application for just one spouse, the limits are lower: $2,349 monthly income and $2,000 for the applicant. However, the non-applying spouse can own up to $128,640 worth of assets.

Fortunately, you do not have to give up everything you own to qualify for Medicaid. Exempt assets include your primary home (if it is worth less than $595,000). Part of Medicaid planning involves the use of trusts to officially give up ownership of assets, while still allowing you and your spouse to control and enjoy that property, or else leave it to your beneficiaries as part of your estate plan. These strategies and more can be used to pay for long-term care without impoverishing yourself or leaving nothing behind to your children.