Planning for Long Term Care

Whether you’re 25, 45 or 65, planning for your own long-term care is a wise decision. None of us know what the future holds, including whether our health will allow us to live independently. According to this 2019 study, 286,300 people are currently in day-based caregiving, 811,500 residents live in assisted living facilities and 1,347,600 people live in nursing homes.

There’s a 70 percent chance you will need long-term care when you’re 65 or older. Women typically need longer care than men, and 20 percent of 65-year-olds today will need it for five years or longer.

If you’re not planning for the possibility of long-term care, you may be risking your hard-earned life savings and assets. James Bart Leonardi, LLC is experienced in helping adults plan for their healthcare needs, whether independently or as part of a comprehensive estate plan.

Medicare vs. Medicaid

Many people assume they’ll be able to rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid when they reach 65. Unfortunately, Medicare is not a long-term care solution. This health insurance option covers Ohio residents over age 65 and people with disabilities. Medicare covers up to 100 days of nursing home care, but that’s just over three months—most people in long-term care facilities need several years of assistance.

Medicaid may be the solution, but you’ll need to start planning now. To qualify for Medicaid, you may be subject to a five-year retroactive look at your assets. According to, Medicaid is available to “resident[s] of the state of Ohio, a U.S. national, citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien, in need of health care/insurance assistance, whose financial situation would be characterized as low income or very low income.” The income limits vary by household size, but start at $18,075/year for single person households, and $24,353/year in two-person households. “Income” includes real estate income, Social Security, stock income, IRA withdrawals and more. Assets also count toward qualification, but some—such as primary residences and vehicles—may be exempt.

Working with an estate planning attorney is key: James Bart Leonardi, LLC can help you qualify for Medicaid coverage and protect your assets from expensive healthcare costs. Many Ohio seniors choose to place their assets in trust well before they need long-term care. Our firm can assist you in creating a comprehensive estate plan to meet all your current and future healthcare needs. No one can predict the future, but we can certainly prepare you for likely scenarios.

For estate planning assistance, call James Bart Leonardi, LLC today.

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