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What happens when the money runs out?  That is usually the first thing most people worry about when their loved one needs assisted living or nursing home care. It is an important question because everyone wants to make sure their love ones are taken care of and running out of money could present a problem in getting the care they need.

There comes a time when people can no longer live in their home on their own. When that happens families must look for alternative living arrangements. Usually the first step is to consider an assisted living community. If the loved one does not require dementia care or memory care the costs can range from $3,000 to $9,000 per month. If the loved one requires a dementia care or memory care in the assisted living – usually a secure environment then the costs often start at $5,000 and go up from there.  The next level of care is the nursing home. Nursing homes cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 per month. At these rates it is easy to see how people can spend all of the money they have worked a lifetime to save on the long term care they need later in life.

Fortunately, in New Jersey (and every other state in the country) we currently have a safety net in place for those people who run out of money yet still need long-term care. That safety net is known as Medicaid. Medicaid is a benefit available to people who are aged blind or disabled.  If you qualify both financially and medically it will pay the cost of your long-term care and most other basic living and medical expenses in the long-term care community. There won’t be any money left over at the end of the month but room and board, prescriptions, doctors and anything else needed to live safely in the long-term care community will be paid by Medicaid.

The Medicaid benefit can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars over someone’s lifetime. It is a wonderful benefit meant to protect vulnerable people in need of long-term care. It does have some very strict rules that must be followed in order to qualify for the benefit but if your loved one is eligible, and most people ultimately are, it is a fantastic benefit that will ensure your loved one has the care they need when he or she runs out of money.

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