While it’s a natural part of life, aging presents a unique set of challenges that can make it difficult to stay independent. In Maryland, you have the option of planning ahead for long-term care.
Long-term care planning
Long-term care describes services that a person may need to help them accomplish activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing and eating. It typically occurs in assisted living facilities, nursing homes or at home with the help of a caregiver. In Maryland, you can begin long-term care planning by determining your needs and resources, researching insurance options and understanding the Medicare and Medicaid rules.
Determining your needs
The first step is determining what kind of help you may need in the future. Talk to your doctor about any health concerns or disabilities you have that could affect your ability to live alone or with minimal assistance. Consider factors such as safety, affordability, convenience and availability when thinking about selecting a living situation.
Buying insurance is a smart way of dealing with long-term care costs. Several insurance options are available in Maryland, including long-term care and disability income insurance. Long-term care insurance pays for adult day care, home health aides and nursing home stays. Disability income insurance provides financial support should you become disabled and unable to work or provide for yourself.
Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that covers hospital stays, doctor’s visits, medical equipment, skilled nursing facilities and more. Medicaid is a state program that helps low-income individuals pay for medical costs associated with long-term care services.
Qualifying for these government benefits poses a great challenge. For instance, to qualify for Medicare, you must be at least 65 years and eligible for Social Security or be permanently disabled. Medicaid requires you to have an income limit of $14,580 if you are single, $30,000 if you are in a family of four and $50,560 for a family of eight.
Long-term care planning in Maryland is essential. It’s important to start preparing as early as you can, and if you already have some plans in place, remember to update them if anything changes.