The National Average is over $100k/year…
Thankfully, however, we live in Arkansas. According to seniorliving.org, at the time of writing (2022), the average cost of Nursing Home Care in Arkansas is just under $7,000/month for a private room. That’s about $84k/year. That’s a lot to chew on, and why sustainable financial planning is so important!
You might be researching the cost of nursing home care for yourself, your spouse, or a Loved One. Hopefully, this is a best-case scenario, and you are planning for potential future physical or cognitive decline. If that is the case, we want to help you to avoid costly planning mistakes by giving you a FREE eBook.
Regardless who your research is based upon, or why, numbers are numbers. One thing we can promise, however, is that the cost of Nursing Home Care in Arkansas will continue to rise. (Just be thankful that we’re not in Alaska!)
Rising Cost of Nursing Home Care in Arkansas
Nobody needs to be convinced of rising costs, especially in 2022. Globally, we are experiencing nearly unfathomable inflation rates. As the costs for energy, goods and transportation continue to rise, so will the cost of services.
In 2012, the average cost of a private room in a Nursing Home in Arkansas was about $60k annually. As the chart shows, the 2022 average is about $86k annually. That’s nearly a 45% increase in 10 years!
The good news is, the cost of Nursing Home care in Arkansas is substantially lower than most states. The annual national average cost today is very close to what we will expect to pay in 10 years. The national average for a private room is just over $111k annually.
The Million Dollar Question: How to Pay the Cost of Nursing Home Care
Yes, it’s great that the cost of nursing home care in Arkansas is so much lower than most others. But, I’m sure we all have the same question in mind: How do I pay for Nursing Home care?
If you have had any conversations with admissions staff, you have possibly heard words like “over-resourced”, “spend down”, “countable assets”, and “penalty period”. You likely have questions concerning Medicaid, and what is about to happen to your financial legacy.
We are here to help. Let’s take a brief moment to define some terms and try to answer some of your questions. Hopefully, this leads us to helping you answer “the Million Dollar Question”, and how to cover Nursing Home cost for you or your Loved One.
Does Medicaid Pay the Cost of Nursing Home Care?
Medicaid will cover the cost of Nursing Home care, but there are fairly strict requirements. As a general rule of thumb, before an individual who is 65 or older may qualify for Medicaid, they must have less than $2000 in countable assets. If the individual has over $2000 in assets, they will be considered as “over-resourced” and their application will be denied.
Over-Resourced for Medicaid Assistance
The condition of being “over-resourced” is when you’ve got more money that the Medicaid regulations allow. If you are “over-resourced”, you will be unable qualify for Medicaid until you spend down. Generally, people just sell everything (“spend down”) and pay the cost of Nursing Home care out-of-pocket until their assets are under the limit.
Many Nursing Homes will be very quick to tell families and patients that they are over-resourced. Therefore, the patient/family should spend spend down by paying out-of-pocket until the resource limit is reached. Nursing Homes prefer a check every month because it is more convenient.
However, it is possible to avoid costly mistakes when you are properly empowered with knowledge and experience. Some of our accrued knowledge and experience is available to you for FREE. Simply download this FREE eBook today.
You’ve probably heard the Estate Recovery Law mentioned by admissions staff. In short, this law means the government will ask about all the assets you own and will require you to spend down to a certain amount before Medicaid will start paying the cost for your loved one’s Nursing Home care.
- Cash assets
- The Family Home*
- Checking and savings accounts
- Stocks, bonds, 401k investments
- Qualified income trust
- Vehicles and other valuables
* Your home may be considered an exempt asset when your loved one enters a nursing home. However, you must be proactive to avoid Recoupment
The state may file alien against the home and may be paid first if and when these properties sell after the death of your loved one.
Now, it’s not that the state wants your family’s home. It’s just that they want to recover money paid on behalf of your loved one for the cost of their nursing home care. Unless planning strategies have been implemented, one’s home is not safe from Medicaid estate recovery.
Now, you may be thinking that you will just give your kids and grandkids an early inheritance. If done correctly, there are options to distribute assets among family members and trusts. However, if proper steps are not taken, you will be facing a penalty period.
A penalty period is simply a period of time that Medicaid will not cover certain costs, including nursing home or at-home care costs, due to the gifting that took place.
In other words, you can’t just “gift” your assets to your family member(s) to qualify for Medicaid. In that event, a penalty period will be assessed, and you are still covering the cost of Nursing Home care without Medicaid assistance.
Will Medicare Cover My Cost for Nursing Home Care?
Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of nursing home cost per benefit period. The first 20 days will be fully covered. After that, beneficiaries must pay a daily coinsurance rate. Once the 100-day benefit period lapses, Medicare no longer pays the cost of Nursing Home care.
Costly Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them
By taking the right legal actions, you can protect your family’s key assets and experience peace of mind knowing they’re 100% off-limits – especially regarding the home you grew up in.
As we’ve mentioned, many people squander their hard-earned financial legacy by blindly spending-down. Yes, the $2000 asset limit exists. However, there are proactive steps that can be taken to salvage financial legacy.
Even if your Loved One is already paying the cost of Nursing Home care right now out-of-pocket as a patient, it may not be too late. Please download our FREE eBook today. It will help you to Avoid Costly Mistakes, qualify for medicaid & protect your family’s assets!
By talking about nursing home cost in Arkansas, we have covered some legal topics in this edition and as always, I want to emphasize that (1) the law is different in every state, so if you live in a state other than Arkansas, just know that the law may be totally different in your state; (2) your situation is unique, so one size doesn’t fit all – meaning what we discuss herein may not be right for you; (3) we have purposely over-simplified many of the topics above (otherwise this would be many pages long and unreadable because of all of the legalize).
It is imperative that you meet with your attorney (hopefully us!) and get a plan that will work for you. Don’t try to plan based on what you read in this (or any) article AND don’t try to go it alone. Please consider this, get your questions answered and take action.