As part of good estate planning, residents of Colorado may consider long-term care planning for themselves and their loved ones. Medicare, a government supplemental insurance policy that provides medical and hospital benefits for individuals who meet certain disability criteria, typically does not provide funds for long-term care services. Therefore, people may wish to consider alternative ways to provide for any future health care needs that could arise from a disability, injury or disease.
Generally, Medicare will not cover the major part of long-term care services such as custodial care and other personal care services. However, it will cover a person’s temporary stay at a skilled nursing skilled nursing facility, in-home healthcare services and hospice if the person meets certain requirements based on his or her need for skilled care. Once people meet the requirements, they will receive full Medicare benefits for 20 days and limited coverage up to 100 days.
Regarding in-home and various care services to treat people with injuries and illnesses, Medicare offers limited coverage following a doctor’s orders. These benefits include intermittent or part-time skilled nursing care; occupational, speech and physical therapy through an in-home health care agency certified by Medicare; Medicare-approved medical supplies and social services. Medicare recipients may receive these benefits for as long as they are needed if a physician places orders for the person’s medical needs every other month.
Whenever people wish to plan for their future physical needs, there are other long-term care planning options available besides Medicare. Since Medicare does not provide for a person’s permanent long-term care needs in the event of a major illness, a disability or an incapacitating disease, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy or Alzheimer’s, people may benefit from setting up a trust. A local estate-planning attorney may be able to guide individuals who desire to plan for their long-term medical needs by explaining their options and assisting them with applying for disability benefits.