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Senior Care: Don't Miss Out on State of GA's Long Term Care Benefits

The costs of caring for a loved one, long term, can be staggering and sometimes catastrophic on a family's financial health. Many families find that they must spend down their entire life's savings in order to qualify for long term care under Medicaid.

The Long-Term Care Partnership Program, administered by the Georgia Department of Community Health, provides an alternative to spending down or transferring assets by forming a partnership between Medicaid and private long-term care insurers. The program was designed to serve as an incentive for Georgia residents to plan for their future long term care needs.

This public-private partnership creates an innovative program offering individuals quality, affordable long-term care insurance and a way to receive needed care without depleting all their assets.

Only Partnership policies provide Medicaid asset protection. Under the benefit of the Dollar-for-Dollar Asset Protection, every dollar that the insurance pays out in benefits equals a dollar of family assets that is protected. When the policy holder has exhausted the benefits under the LTC plan and needs assistance under Medicaid, the protected assets are exempt from consideration during the Medicaid eligibility process.

Here's an example to illustrate how the Partnership program can preserve personal assets...

Bob and Gloria have assets totaling $500,000. The couple has purchased a shared Partnership Program Long Term Care Policy with total coverage of $350,000 over a 5 year benefit period. Bob has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and is in need of long term care. The policy pays out the benefit of $350,000 for Bob's care. Without a Partnership Long Term Care Policy, if Bob and Gloria were to file for Medicaid relief for LTC costs, they would need to spend down their assets to $2,000, leaving Gloria with no savings. With a Partnership Policy, the couple would be able to claim $350,000 as protected funds during the Medicaid eligibility application process, leaving Gloria with access to retirement funds.

Partnership policies will be tax qualified plans under federal law and provide inflation protection benefits for purchasers.

Partnership policies provide compound annual inflation protection for individuals less than 61 years of age as of the date of purchase. This is one of the distinguishing features of a Partnership policy and also the inflation protection is a valuable benefit regardless of whether policy is a Partnership policy.

Partnership policies provide some level of inflation protection for individuals at least 61 years of age, but less than 75 years of age on date of purchase.

Partnership policies may provide inflation protection, but is not required, to individuals 76 years of age as of the date of purchase.

SOME PARTNTERSHIP POLICIES COVER IN-HOME CARE as well as other community based services. Individuals should consider looking into a policy that pays for these types of services.

A Partnership policy is ideal for someone who will not be able to afford the high cost of long-term care, but who can afford the reasonable cost of long-term care insurance. The younger individuals are when purchasing a long-term care insurance policy, the less expensive it is.

Individuals who have accumulated resources by saving or investing may be the best candidates for a Partnership policy.

Before purchasing a Partnership policy, you may want to consult with a trusted advisor or long-term care insurance agent so you are able to pick a long-term product that is right for you. If you want to buy a Partnership policy, you must select a State of Georgia approved vendor.... The State of Georgia does not sell Partnership policies; they administer and monitor the Long-Term Partnership Program.

Costs will vary and each company sets its own rates. A local insurance agent can provide specific information related to rates and premiums. Premiums can vary greatly across companies and within companies depending on what features are included in an individual policy. Source: excerpts from Office of Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner

Utilizing the help of a professional caregiver provided by Easy Living Services, Inc. can come to the aide of busy families and individuals recovering from an illness or surgery. Having someone who can provide meals, light housekeeping, transportation and can assist with personal care can ensure safety and speed the healing process. We have assisted Atlanta families to keep loved ones safe and fulfilled at home since 1994. Call us today to discuss your specific needs, 770-442-8664 or for more information visit us at:

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