Long-term care planning concerns affecting women

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2021 | Elder Law |

Women tend to outlive men, which raises the question of how they may cover their needs without a husband or second income. As reported by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, women represented 74% of the solo income households over the age of 80 in 2018.

Women with sufficient financial resources to live alone, such as a pension or retirement fund, may obtain the personal health care assistance they need by hiring a live-in caretaker. Many women, however, rely on government funding to help them with their long-term care needs.

Home health requirements: Medicare vs. Medicaid

Medicare typically does not cover individuals requiring custodial long-term care, which entails 24/7 at-home services. As described on the Medicare.gov website, the program does, however, cover home health services such as part-time skilled nursing and personal hands-on care.

The Medicaid program covers long-term care needs such as assisted living facilities or an at-home caretaker. As noted by the American Council on Aging, Georgia residents with an income limit of $2,382 and assets less than $2,000 may currently qualify for Medicaid.

“What-if” scenarios

Emergencies could have a devastating effect on an individual’s income while also increasing monthly expenses. The answers to some common “what-if” questions may serve as a guide for creating a contingency plan to help reduce the impact of unexpected circumstances.

What if I become severely ill or incapacitated? What if my spouse dies before me? What if I am left with unmanageable medical debts? The answers to these questions may demonstrate potential long-term care needs that estate planning may address.

Women generally outlive their spouses; effective long-term care planning often requires proactive arrangements concerning health care, legal and financial matters. An estate plan that includes a trust and names an individual who can act as an advocate may provide the required coverage.

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