Long Term Care: A Fundamental Building Block of Estate Planning

by Christopher Jackson, JD

With continually increasing healthcare costs, seniors face new costs to account for when planning their future care needs. One area that many seniors fail to consider is their long term care needs. Some seniors believe that Medicare, and Medicare supplemental insurances, will cover all of their medical care needs. This is not always the case. Medicare will only pay for skilled healthcare services or rehabilitative care, not for non-skilled assistance to deal with the “activities of daily living.”

As seniors age, many come to a crossroads at which they need assistance with their “activities of daily living” such as bathing, dressing, using the restroom, eating, doing household chores, or even shopping for groceries. These types of care activities are not covered by Medicare. Because of this, any assistance with these daily activities has to be paid out-of-pocket, by Medicaid (if eligible), or through long term care insurance or other private payment options. It is important for seniors to plan ahead, before these unforeseen costs arise. For many seniors, obtaining long term care insurance can be very costly after reaching retirement age, therefore all options should be weighed before making care decisions.

The Federal Government, through the Administration on Aging, provides an excellent long term care resource for seniors to learn about long term care and their options for covering its costs. By utilizing the LTC PathFinder, seniors are able to find the information most relevant to their current and future care needs. In addition to the PathFinder resource, LongTermCare.gov, provides ample resources to answer any questions seniors have on long term care.

While LongTermCare.gov provides a wide range of information on long term care, you may have questions still left unanswered. Elder Law of Michigan provides many additional resources to assist seniors in issues regarding long term care insurance. If you have unanswered questions regarding your long term care needs or long term care insurance coverage, please call the Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors at Elder Law of Michigan at 1-800-347-5297.


cjacksonChristopher Jackson is an attorney at Elder Law of Michigan, and has been a member of the Elder Law team since early 2014. Christopher holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Indianapolis, and graduated with his Juris Doctor in 2013 from Michigan State University College of Law. As an attorney at Elder Law, Christopher provides legal advice to Michigan seniors on a wide-variety of areas, including estate planning, wills and trusts, Medicare/Medicaid, social security benefits, and insurance issues.


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