Long Term Care Planning and Assistance

“A Little Bit of Planning Goes a Long Way”

We’ve heard that quote our entire lives, and in the area of Long Term Care, a little bit of planning…. Even in a crisis goes a long way.  It is estimated that over 40% of people over 65 will need some type of Long Term Care(LTC).  Terms like Medicare, Medicaid, long term care insurance, trusts, life estates, transfers, gifts, annuities, and other strategies come to mind but having a qualified professional who can navigate a pathway to assistance based on your family’s situation is critical.  It’s confusing, and to make matters worse, most of us don’t address long term care issues until it is fully upon us either as a caregiver for a parent, or a caregiver of a spouse.

Colorado has many resources for help.  One such resource for financial help is Health First Colorado.  This is Colorado’s Medicaid Program.  Most Colorado elderly feel that they don’t qualify for Medicaid because they have too much income or too many assets.  In reality, many could qualify if they would engage a qualified Medicaid Planner, holding a Certified Medicaid Planner (CMP) designation.  The role of a CMP is to help an applicant identify problems in obtaining eligibility and solve them.  The goal of the CMP is to build certainty around how assistance with paying for LTC. This valuable planning can alleviate the stress of financial uncertainty.

The rules around Medicaid eligibility are readily available on line.  However, it is the proper application of the guidelines that is difficult causing most to think they don’t qualify and therefore, overlook this valuable resource to assist in the costs of LTC.

Planning will identify a legitimate means of preserving valuable or sentimental assets and income.  Here in Colorado, to the surprise of many, Medicaid guidelines afford numerous opportunities to protect income and assets. Consulting with a CMP who specializes in LTC will help you and your family develop a successful pathway to LTC financial assistance.

Editors note:  This article was submitted by Stacy Osborne and Michael Sapp, CMP with Medicaid Consulting Group.  They can be reached at 719-645-8350 or by email at info@medicaidconsultant.org.