It’s not every day that you get a bill in the mail for June nursing home costs of $26,000. July's bill will also be $26,000 and every month after that.
Imagine how you would feel if this happened to you.
Most everyday people never have an inkling that this could happen to them, but it could. This is a typical bill in Los Angeles County for a level of nursing home care called “Sub-Acute” care.
It is between hospital care, called acute care, and skilled care in a nursing home. Typically people that are stable but on a ventilator or have a tracheotomy that needs constant monitoring, are sub-acute.
Sub-acute care could be provided in a separate wing of a hospital or in a standalone facility.
Does Medicare Pay for This?
Here is a little known fact. This type of care is not paid by Medicare or insurance. Once a person is deemed to be stable, not getting better or getting worse, they are discharged from the hospital.
Coverage for rehab care under Medicare, medigap, or a senior HMO is up to 100 days. But once again, once a person is deemed to be stable, not getting better or worse, rehab coverage under Medicare, medigap or a senior HMO also ends.
So, faced with a $26,000 monthly bill, what is a family to do? One option is to spend whatever savings is available. Some people even sell their homes.
There is another less painful way. It is called Medi-Cal.
The Medi-Cal for long term care program that helps to pay for nursing home care also will help to pay for sub-acute care.
Our very first Medi-Cal case 20 years ago was a sub-acute one. Back then the monthly cost was $12,000-$15,000. Now that same care runs $25,000-$35,000.
We just got a sub-acute case approved for a husband. Rather than $26,000 a month, his wife has to pay $0.00 (that is not a typo) each month for his care. So there is hope, but you have to be ready, which is not difficult. We can help you step-by-step to get organized.
Karl Kim is a Certified Financial Planner™, Certified in Long-Term Care, and the President of Retirement Planning Advisors, Inc. in La Mirada, CA. He is a Medi-Cal Specialist and has submitted over 1000 applications with a 99.9% success rate over the past 20 years. He can be reached at 714-994-0599.
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