Maybe you currently live in Minnesota and are about to relocate to Florida for your retirement. Perhaps you have been a lifelong Florida resident and are in the process of preparing your estate and ensuring your financial stability in the near future.
When you have hundreds of thousands of dollars set aside in retirement savings, even more in personal assets and possibly a pension, you might feel a false sense of financial security as you approach your golden years.
Regardless of how many resources you have, you may not have enough after a decade or two of retirement to pay the costs of nursing home care in your later years.
Florida nursing homes are incredibly expensive
There are hundreds of nursing home facilities in Florida providing around-the-clock support to vulnerable older adults. Those who have suffered major falls or who have conditions like Alzheimer’s disease will eventually require professional help because independent living is no longer safe.
When you move to a nursing home, paying directly for that care could quickly consume your retirement savings. Adults in Florida can expect to pay thousands of dollars a month for nursing home support. A semi-private room will cost, on average, $89,297 per year. A private room will cost $100,375, possibly more. Those rates are quite high, which is certainly part of the reason why Medicaid pays roughly 60% of nursing home care costs.
People need Medicaid because Medicare won’t pay
The reason that Medicaid and not Medicare covers all of those nursing home costs is that Medicare does not have benefits for long-term rehabilitative support, residency in nursing homes or in-house nursing support. You will need to qualify for Medicaid to cover those thousands of dollars a month it costs to live in the nursing home.
Without advanced planning, your personal property is at risk after you die, and your assets can prevent you from qualifying when you are alive and need benefits immediately. Those who engage in Medicaid planning several years before they likely need benefits will be in a better position to avoid delays and penalties and to protect their most valuable assets during estate administration. Learning more about Florida’s Medicaid coverage and average elder care costs can help you determine if Medicaid planning should be part of your estate planning process.