What You Need to Know About Long-Term Care Planning in Virginia

Elder law is an aspect of long-term care and estate planning that many people don't think about when planning for their future and reaching a certain age. Many people then find themselves unable to pay for the care they need. But this doesn't have to happen to you. At McCarthy & Akers, PLC, our elder law attorneys can assist in creating a long-term care plan that is best for you.

The right long-term care plan can help you provide for your needs and the needs of your family as you age. First, you need to understand your options so you can put a proper long-term care plan in place. Nursing homes, assisted living, or in-home care are some of the options you may want to consider.

Next, you need to determine whether you are eligible for any benefits. Depending on your particular circumstances, you could qualify for VA Aid and Attendance, Medicaid, or other programs.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

When planning for your future, you need to understand how long-term care insurance works and any options available to you. Unfortunately, this can be complicated to figure out. But you don't have to worry. Our elder care attorneys have the expertise and experience necessary to help you create a good long-term care plan for your future.

A long-term care plan can assist you in maintaining your quality of life, but it is not designed to enhance your health. That’s where long-term care insurance comes in. It can help you pay for a variety of services dealing with health or personal needs, including:

  • Chronic disease
  • Serious accident
  • Sudden illness
  • Cognitive impairment

Long-Term Care Insurance Requirements

The following applies to all long-term care insurance policies in Virginia:

  • There is no requirement for a prior hospital or skilled nursing home stay as a trigger for benefits.
  • All pre-existing conditions must be covered after six months.
  • Policies must be guaranteed to be renewable or noncancellable.
  • Portability is required for all group contracts.
  • Inflation protection coverage must be offered.
  • After age 65, no attained age rating is allowed.
  • Policies must provide benefits for a minimum of 12 months.
  • Policies may not use waivers or riders to exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  • Policies cannot require that home health care be provided by an RN or LPN.
  • All policies must have a 30-day "free-look" provision.
  • No policy can exclude or limit benefits based on Alzheimer's disease, senility, dementia, organic brain disorder, or similar diagnoses.
  • There must be an option to designate someone who must be notified before the policy lapses.
  • Rate revisions must be approved by the Virginia Bureau of Insurance before implementation.
  • No new waiting period for pre-existing conditions when replacing policies.

Long-Term Care Partnership Policies

In Virginia, a Long-Term Care (LTC) Partnership exists between the private insurance industry and the state government.  Like all long-term care plans, it is designed to encourage people to plan for their future long-term care needs.

For the most part, Medicare and other types of health insurance don't cover long-term care costs.  And long-term care insurance policies differ significantly from one to the next.

Long-term care policies under the LTC Partnership are essentially the same as other long-term care policies.  However, LTC Partnership policies allow you to protect a portion of your assets if you choose to apply for Medicaid. If approved by the Virginia Bureau of Insurance, every carrier authorized to offer health insurance in Virginia can offer LTC policies.

What About Medicaid?

Medicaid is a health insurance program administered jointly and funded by the federal and state governments. It should not be confused with Medicare, which will not pay for long-term care in most cases. Medicaid is targeted towards low-income individuals and provides needed health care services for those who qualify.

Qualifying for Medicaid can be complicated.  You must meet a set of financial standards and fit into a specific covered group. It is important to understand that although an LTC Partnership program can help you protect assets from Medicaid calculation, it does not guarantee approval.

Contact McCarthy & Akers, PLC for All Your Elder Law Needs

If you are looking for an “elder care attorney near me,” look no further. We are the go-to elder care and estate planning option in our community. As experienced long-term care planning and elder law attorneys, we can put your mind at ease. And if you feel like you have waited too long to put your plan in place, you don’t have to panic. We can help you get back on track and set up a plan to care for all your needs. Our team of experienced attorneys is professional, friendly, and prepared to come to your aid, turning your complicated legal situation from a headache into a painless and efficient process.

At McCarthy & Akers, PLC, your needs are our priority, and we make choosing a legal partner easy.  Let us help you plan for your future by contacting us for your free consultation by calling (540) 277-9865, or you can schedule an appointment by filling out our online form.

Copyright© 2021. McCarthy & Akers, PLC. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

McCarthy & Akers, PLC
302 W Boscawen St.
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 277-9865
https://mccarthyakers.com/

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