Relatives may be responsible for long-term care costs

| Jul 17, 2018 | Long Term Care Planning |

Recent studies show that over 70 percent of seniors will require extensive healthcare services after age 65. The Employee Benefit Research Institute has determined that only 13 percent of elders have secured long-term care insurance to avoid the high out-of-pocket costs associated with long-term care. Many residents in Texas and other states will face high medical costs without the protection of LTCI.

The burden of long-term care often falls on family members, and there is a growing number of lawsuits trying to recover money from families. States have been allowed to sue families to recover Medicaid dollars since 1993 when The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act was established. Since then, Medicaid has recovered hundreds of millions from families. The Office of the Inspector General expects more aggressive recovery actions as state budget pressures increase.

Many states have filial laws that impose upon adult children to support their impoverished parents. Adult children and other relatives could be held responsible if they refuse to pay for the necessities of long-term care when a parent cannot do so for themselves. Legal representatives of nursing homes are suing to test the laws for recovering funds from families of indigent parents.

Paying for long-term medical care has been an ongoing crisis, and most seniors are not prepared to pay. Some options for those faced with high long-term care costs would be to borrow against life insurance or cashing out the policy. Residents of Texas can consult with an elder law attorney who is well informed about long-term care. A seasoned lawyer can evaluate all options and recommend the best solution to his or her client.