Elder law is a specialized and rapidly growing area of the law focused on helping seniors prepare for and cope with the life changes that are a part of growing older. In particular, it deals with helping seniors and their families find ways to pay for long-term care. Most seniors will eventually need some form of long-term care, and this care is quite expensive. In Hawaii, the cost of a private room in a nursing home averages $114,975 per year according to an article in the Maui News. This is sixth highest in the country. Many middle-class families lose their life savings within one year of moving into a nursing home. At Obenauf Law Group, our Maui elder law and Medicaid planning attorneys, design plans to help seniors prepare for disability and the need for long-term care in advance, as well as cope with what is known as a “Medicaid crisis.”

Advanced planning

Purchasing long-term care insurance is one way to protect assets against the high cost of long-term medical care. Unfortunately, it does have some drawbacks. Not only is it expensive, but many people cannot qualify for it at all because of age or pre-existing medical conditions. Co-pays are often very high as well. The good news is that there are other options available to protect your assets in advance against the cost of long-term or nursing home care. We can explain these options to you and create a plan to ensure you receive the care you need without losing all the assets you have worked a lifetime to achieve.

Medicaid planning

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that has become the largest provider of funds for long-term care in the United States. Medicaid now pays for some 60 percent of all nursing home stays. Before applying for assistance from Medicaid, it is a good idea to speak with an elder law attorney. Many people make mistakes in filling out the application itself, or do things such as giving away assets in the hopes of becoming eligible for Medicaid. While gifting is possible, it has to be done the right way. There are strict rules governing Medicaid eligibility, and making mistakes in your application or management of assets can lead to a denial of benefits or severe delays in obtaining them.

A Medicaid crisis

At Obenauf Law Group, we recognize that it is not always possible to plan in advance for incapacity. A Medicaid crisis is a situation in which an individual must enter a nursing home immediately, or in the very near future, and has been informed that he or she has too many assets to qualify for Medicaid assistance. If you or a loved one is facing a Medicaid crisis, you need to understand that the information provided by family and friends, or even well-meaning social workers or nursing home intake staff, is often incorrect or outdated. We have a thorough understanding of Medicaid law and are committed to helping seniors obtain the Medicaid assistance they need. We may also be able to help even if you have been denied benefits in the past or are living in a nursing home already. Contact us as soon as possible to schedule an initial consultation.