Did you know that some states have filial laws on the books that can make family members responsible for covering the costs associated with getting care for aging or ill parents? Most states that have filial laws in place rarely enforce them, but there seems to be an uptick in the number of nursing homes that have recently started to collect from family members. New York, fortunately, is not one of the states with filial laws in place.

On top of New York not having filial laws in place, Federal Medicaid law prevents nursing home facilities from requiring family members to act as “guarantors” for new patients being admitted. Nursing homes are only permitted to request a family member volunteer to be the guarantor for a new patient prior to Medicaid coverage kicking in. Still, while adult children do not have to cover the cost of a parent’s long term care, they should still be proactive and help aging parents put a plan in place to cover these expenses.

Long term care can be a significant expense. Usually, people cover the cost of long term care through personal savings, but these can be quickly depleted. For those who have elected to carry long term care insurance, proceeds from the policy are used to cover the cost of long term care. Also, Medicaid coverage, for those who qualify for such benefits, are a common way to cover long term care costs. Medicare, while covering medical care for people over the age of 65, does not generally provide coverage for long term care.

Unfortunately, for a person to qualify for Medicaid coverage, he or she must have almost completely exhausted all of his or her assets. Through planning ahead, individuals who may need long term care in the future may be able to put a plan in place which protects assets from being quickly depleted by the cost of long term care, while still being able to access benefits to cover long term care costs.

For help planning for the costs of long term care, our office can assist you with this and related matters. Feel free to contact us to schedule a meeting.