Managed Care at Home Becoming a Common Form of Long Term Care

The long-term care landscape for Medicaid is changing quickly and this may cause us to consider as a society how to reconsider the way that we get personal assistance as we age or become disabled. Nearly half of all states in the country are currently provided long-term care benefits through Medicaid as managed care, and in fact a further 13 states are requiring that older adults receive care in this same way. Four out of five states in the country are expanding their home care benefits through Medicaid and others are even beginning to provide housing services through the federal program as well.  long-term care at home

Since 1965, when Medicaid was first enacted, nursing homes were considered to be the primary place where long-term care benefits were delivered. However, this has shifted gradually towards the home and community assistance for many reasons including the fact that federal waivers programs gave states the flexibility they needed to make it a reality. A Supreme Court decision at one point required it and consumers demanded it.

More recently, the federal government allowed states to provide this care at some assisted living facilities. The trend towards home based care mostly affects those individuals who are recipients of Medicaid. The accelerated shift to managed care will have bigger consequences for all adults. Being able to get the help necessary in your own home as you age raises important questions. It is critical to have the estate planning documents that you will need to transition to this phase successfully, including your will, any trusts and then any powers of attorney that allow another individual to step in and make decisions on your behalf.

The Most Fundamental Error You Can Make in the Estate Planning Process

Far too many studies show that Americans who are most in need of estate planning have done absolutely nothing to protect themselves. Some of the most common estate planning mistakes can have a significant impact not just on you but also on your beneficiaries when you pass away.

Here are the most common mistakes you can make:

  • Failing to update you will. Many people believe that their will is a ‘set it and forget it’ document, but if you get divorced or have any other major life changes, your will needs to be updated.
  • Not having a will. Up to 64% of people living in the United States do not have a will at all. Many believe that they just haven’t gotten around to it or that they didn’t need one, both of which can be catastrophic mistakes.
  • Overlooking the benefits of a trust. Wills only account for how your property will be distributed when you pass away but trusts go on for a set period governing the distribution of those assets. They can also provide greater control and privacy.
  • Not being realistic about your heirs. Make sure you consider whether or not your beneficiaries have the emotional and financial capacity to handle money appropriately.
  • Choosing the wrong trustee or executor. Choosing the individuals who will help step in and make decisions for you or to assist your family when you pass away can be extremely important. Make sure that the individuals that you have chosen understand the responsibility and are willing to accept it. You may also need to appoint contingency people to serve in this role in the event that the person you originally selected passes away.

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