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Why many aging adults need Medicaid for nursing home care

Nursing Home Medicaid Qualifications

Florida is a very popular retirement destination. Some older adults choose to live in the Sunshine State all year round after retirement, and so-called snowbirds commute back and forth between their home state and Florida when the weather changes throughout the year.

Those with a residence in Florida in their golden years may eventually require the support of a nursing home in Florida. There are hundreds of such facilities providing support to thousands of vulnerable adults who can no longer live completely independent lives.

Advanced planning, including Medicaid planning, is often very important for the financial security of older adults. Why might you need Medicaid if you eventually move to a nursing home?

Care costs could burn through your savings

Even if you have spent decades putting money aside for retirement, you will likely have already used a lot of those resources by the time you need nursing home care. Especially if you live into your 90s, what you have left to support yourself may not be enough to pay for the monthly costs that come from living in a nursing home.

According to the Florida Health Care Association, private rooms in Florida nursing homes have a median cost of $100,375 annually, while a semi-private room has a median cost of just under $90,000. If you don’t have enough to pay for those rates with your savings, you will turn to your insurance coverage. If you plan ahead of time, you can qualify for Medicaid and rely on that to pay for your nursing home support when Medicare will not cover those costs.

How do you plan to qualify for Medicaid?

Identifying the assets that are worth too much could help you qualify quickly when the time comes. Many people start a trust to hold their assets and protect them from Medicaid penalties when they apply or estate recovery efforts after their death. Although you can qualify with hundreds of thousands of dollars in home equity, the state could make a claim against your home after you die if you don’t engage in advance planning.

Thinking about the support you may need as you continue to age can help you engage in the right estate planning steps for your own protection, such as Medicaid planning.