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Planning for Long-Term Care in California

Planning For Long Term Care In California

When you are making plans to retire, you usually have thoughts of spending time doing the things you enjoy the most. The last thing that may cross your mind is needing long-term care services because of mobility impairment or health issues. However, according to AARP (the American Association for Retired Persons), in 2012, two-thirds of all U.S. citizens over age 65 needed some type of long-term care. The best time to get ready for these expenses is before the need arises. Here is more on planning for long-term care in California.

What are Long-Term Care Services?

Long-term care describes a variety of different services. Those related to assisting an individual with their daily personal living requirements are generally referred to as activities of daily living. These may include home health-care attendant, meal preparation, and transportation services. Long-term care may also mean respite, hospice, and skilled nursing home services.

Affording Long-Term Care

For many people, the most significant barrier to long-term care is affordability. These services can be costly, and paying out of pocket for them is not realistic for everyone’s budget. After reaching 65, you may be Medicare eligible. However, Medicare does not cover the majority of long-term care expenses. The program doesn’t cover any custodial care costs, which includes most skilled nursing care services. Part-time or short-term care assistance in the home may be covered by Medicare but not ongoing services or nursing home care.

Long-Term Care Insurance

  • At one time, long-term care insurance may have been an affordable option for some. However, today plan premiums tend to be cost-prohibitive, especially for those on a fixed income. Getting coverage at a younger age may help lower premiums. Still, plan costs tend to go up as participants age and are most in need of coverage.


  • Another choice is for the person in need of long-term care services to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket. With an average cost of $9000 to $15,000 per month for skilled nursing care, most families and individuals cannot pay these expenses on their own. Likewise, most people are not equipped to pay a home health care attendant’s salary indefinitely.


  • Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, is a government program that provides medical coverage for eligible participants. Unlike Medicare, Medi-Cal covers long-term care expenses. Medi-Cal is income-sensitive and, therefore, not available to individuals with excess resources or income. The good news is that there are ways to plan to qualify for Medi-Cal without having to get rid of everything you own. By working with an experienced Medi-Cal planning attorney, you can develop ways to be eligible for this significant benefit and keep the funds and property that you need.

Trust Planning

  • Another way to plan for your long-term care needs is through a trust. By placing your assets and property into specific types of trusts, you can set aside the resources for any future possible long-term care needs.

Contact a California Estate Planning Attorney

At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we are experienced California estate planning attorneys who can help you plan for the future. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.