I Smoke Marijuana, Can I Get Life Insurance?

kush in close up photography

A lot of people are reluctant to admit recreational marijuana use. According to a 2019 Gallup Survey over 10% of the population smoke marijuana regularly. The likelihood of you knowing someone who smokes pot are pretty high, no pun intended. The positive news for smokers is that you will likely qualify for coverage, its just a matter of how much you will pay?

When applying for life insurance you’ll likely face a question about whether and how often you use marijuana. Whether you have tried it in the past or are currently using theres no reason to fear it. Many life insurance companies have begun opening up to marijuana use and have relaxed their underwriting to allow for it. And some are more friendlier than others when it comes to their pricing.

Life Insurance Underwriting

Depending on how much you consume on a regular basis will determine your classification. For regular users most life insurance companies will classify you as a “smoker”, causing your premium to be 2-3 times more expensive than non-smokers. But, occasional marijuana users can sometimes qualify for non-smoking rates depending on the company. Each life insurance company sets its own parameters on the meaning of “occasional”.

It’s best to work with a life insurance broker who has multiple carriers at their disposal in order to find you the best rate. Find an agent that is willing to provide you with preliminary quotes and that will shop your coverage for you anonymously before ever formally applying for coverage.

Medical Marijuana Users

Many life insurance companies view medical marijuana use differently than recreational marijuana use, and how they determine your health rating will depend largely on the underlying health condition for which it’s been prescribed.

There are insurers, that will rate you based on medicinal use in addition to your past or current health issue(s) ultimately resulting in higher priced for coverage.

Applying For Coverage

Once the application is completed a phone interview will be conducted to determine whether a medical exam will be required, which includes a blood and urine sample. If no exam is required the life insurance company will continue its underwriting of the following information to determine your final rate: medical records and any current or past prescriptions; previous five to seven years of your motor vehicle record; answers to any previous life insurance applications you have completed, if any. Most life insurance companies require this of all applicants regardless if they use marijuana or not.

Regardless of how often you use marijuana, and whether it’s recreational or medicinal, it’s important to be truthful and honest on any life insurance application. “Misrepresentations” can be viewed as fraud and, even worse, the provider could deny your family’s claim after you pass away, leaving them unprotected.

Finding Coverage

With the legalizing of medical and recreational marijuana use sweeping through the nation, its no surprise that more and more people are consuming marijuana in some form. Marijuana use is becoming more common and we shouldn’t allow it to discourage people from finding affordable life insurance coverage.

Nebraska Asset Protection Group is a trusted life insurance broker that works with over fifty different life insurance companies throughout the country including carriers that are friendly to marijuana use. If you would like to receive a free consultation with one of our licensed insurance advisors or to receive a free quote click here.

Medicaid Long-Term Care- What is it? And How Can You Qualify?

State Medicaid-Long-Term Care (LTC) programs can provide care in a private home, a nursing home, an assisted living facility or a continuing care retirement community. Medicaid Long-Term Care remains the largest source of funding for nursing home care for individuals throughout the country. So, why does is still remain a mystery to many people?

No, matter how care is received either in-home or in a nursing facility, the costs are expensive. Often times family members are tasked with being the caregivers of their parents and or grandparents. Many family caregivers and seniors assume these costs would be paid for by Medicare & Medicaid. But, what most people find out when they apply for Medicaid LTC benefits is that they meet the medical requirements, but do not meet the financial requirements.

Before an applicant can qualify for benefits there are certain conditions that must be met. First, you must be age 65 or older. Second, you must be a naturalized citizen. The remaining requirements are explained below:

Medical Requirements:

  • Assistance with two or more activities of daily living (bathing, eating, dressing, toileting, continence, and mobility)
  • Require ongoing nursing home level of care

Financial Requirements:

  • Accumulated assets of no more than $4,000 (depending on the state it may be less)
  • Cash-value life insurance of no more than $1,500 (restrictions apply)
  • Cost of care must exceed applicants monthly income

So, what does this all mean? Basically, you must first require ongoing daily care with out-of-pocket expenses that exceed your monthly income as an individual and you must not have any assets in your name with a value over the limitations listed above. If, you meet all of these requirements then you may qualify for Medicaid LTC benefits in your state.

Five Year Look-Back

Medicaid enforces a five year look-back period and counts all gifts given within that time period against your eligibility. Under the Medicaid rules for married individuals, a penalty can be enforced regardless of which spouse made the gift. Any gifts given beyond five years are ignored.

The length of this penalty period depends on the value of the gift(s). The larger the gift, the longer the penalty period. Each state has their own penalty “divisor” figure that is used to calculate this period, so make sure to check with the state you’re applying for benefits with for this figure.

Most items with value are considered gifts including, but not limited too: automobiles, cash, CD’s, life insurance, real estate, stocks, water crafts, etc. Physical assets and/or property are assessed at fair-market-value.

Spousal Impoverishment

Now, you may be thinking “what about my spouse who is healthy and does not need care? Where will he or she live and how will they pay for their ongoing lifestyle?” There are separate standards in place for a healthy spouse who remains at home, if you’re applying for benefits and are married.

Each state is different, so you will want to verify the allowances within the specific state you’re applying for benefits. Below are the spousal impoverishment standards for Nebraska:

Maximum Allowable Asset Amount (liquid & physical)$128,640
Maximum Monthly Allowance$3,216
Shelter Monthly Allowance (mortgage, rent, taxes, etc.)$647
Standard Monthly Utility Allowance (gas, electric, water, etc.)$491

A spouse will also be able to keep their home, if they own it along with all of their personal possessions and one vehicle for transportation. Everything beyond that is is not allowed and will disqualify you for Medicaid if owned.

Medicaid Long-Term Care Benefits

Once a person has been approved for Medicaid, virtually all of their medical bills will be paid by the program. This includes prescription drugs, inpatient and outpatient hospital services, nursing care, medical equipment, etc.

The following services must be offered by all states:

  • physician services
  • lab and x-ray services
  • comprehensive dental services
  • family nurse practitioner services
  • nursing facility services

Most states also offer an in-home care option for individuals called “waivers”. The application process is the same and if you qualify you will receive care at home along with other services. Both Nebraska and Iowa offer these options.

Medicaid Planning

We all know how expensive nursing homes are, and without careful planning, a stay in one can easily bankrupt all but the most affluent families. According to a 2019 Genworth Cost of Care Survey the average annual cost for a nursing home stay in Nebraska is $86,000; assisted living facilities cost $48,000 a year on average.

Unfortunately, most people do not seek advice from a professional or seek it too late and are told that they must spend down their assets until they have reduced their life savings to the point that they qualify for Medicaid coverage. You can’t rely on Medicare, because it only covers a maximum of 100 days of in-patient care.

The only true way to keep from spending down all of your assets and giving them to the nursing facility is to properly plan. Its prudent that you work with a professional that specializes in Medicaid Long-Term Care planning to avoid any penalties that may prolong your out-of-pocket expenses.

Here at Nebraska Asset Protection Group we work with individuals and families to help save them from the high costs of nursing home care. We will construct a plan and pathway that streamlines your Medicaid eligibility without having to spend down all of your assets. We are proud to say that we have helped families save millions in assets and helped them protect their legacy.

If you would like a free consultation to learn how we can help, give us a call today at 402-531-9912 or click here to get started!

Medicaid Spend Down Can Help Seniors Qualify for Long-Term Care Benefits

an old woman using a laptop

Assisted living or nursing care is expensive and many older adults will need to use Medicaid to pay for it. To qualify for Medicaid benefits, many older adults “spend down” or try to reduce their assets to meet the financial requirements. But the rules are complex, so doing this without help from a Medicaid advisor could lead to penalties or denial of benefits for months forcing you to pay out of pocket for care.

There is a strategy that can help people qualify that’s often referred to as “Medicaid spend down.” In short, “spending down” involves reducing one’s income or assets to the point of eligibility. 

It can be a good strategy as long as it’s done properly. The problem is, some people tend to start transferring or selling assets before they truly understand all the requirements.

Income Requirements

Some people earn too much income to qualify for Medicaid. This amount is called excess income. In order to qualify for Medicaid your Modified Gross Adjusted Income or MAGI must not be more than the cost of care.

Individuals are allowed to keep a monthly income amount for “personal needs” like haircuts, toiletries, food, etc. If you qualify for coverage in Iowa you are allowed $50 per month; in Nebraska it is $60.

Heres how it works:

It works almost like a deductible for car insurance. When you require care greater than your individual monthly income, you may be able to qualify for Medicaid. You are responsible for the bills up to your maximum monthly income amount; Medicaid will only pay those bills over the excess amount.

Any medical expenses paid for by Medicaid can be recouped from any assets leftover in that persons name. Thats why it is vital that you work with a knowledgable Medicaid advisor and elder law attorney in order to avoid this situation.

Asset Requirements

Each state’s Medicaid program has specific financial eligibility requirements that must be met in order to qualify for long-term care coverage. For instance in Iowa an applicant can have no more than $2,000 in assets in their name. In Nebraska, it’s $4,000.

Each state defines what is considered a countable asset and a non-countable asset for Medicaid eligibility, so you’ll need to confirm the laws in your state before taking action. The examples shown below are specific to Iowa and Nebraska Medicaid programs.

Countable assets typically include:

  • Cash in checking and savings accounts
  • Accumulated assets in investment accounts
  • 401k and IRA retirement accounts
  • Investment property
  • Boats, RV’s, extra vehicles, additional homes
  • Cash value life insurance greater than $1,500
  • Annuities both deferred or currently liquidating
  • Gifts given in the previous 5 years (“look back period”)

If, the applicant has done any business or personal legal work in the past you will want to make sure to divulge that information when working with your advisors. Trust documents and prior legal work can affect your eligibility.

How To Spend-Down

Most people are not aware of the various ways to reach Medicaid eligibility. Unfortunately people are often told that “you must spend all of your money down”. This is why I stress the fact that you must work with an experienced Medicaid advisor and elder law attorney when applying for Medicaid.

There are certain expenses that I like to refer to as “boxes” that qualify as a proper spend down without incurring any penalties.

Expenses that qualify as a spend down:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Home Improvements
  • Financial debt
  • Burial Plots
  • Pre-paid funeral Expenses
  • Attorney Fee’s
  • Long-Term Care Planning

You would typically pursue a spend down on behalf of a family member who needs pricey, long-term care. If you have an elderly parent or grandparent who requires long-term nursing home or assisted living care, but who lacks the money to pay for it, you may consider helping your parent apply for Medicaid.

Married Couples

When only one spouse is entering long-term care or a nursing home facility and the other remains at home, the spouse remaining at home is given a greater allowance for assets and monthly income than a single individual. This helps prevent a healthy spouse from being forced to live in poverty simply because his or her partner needs high-cost care.

The specifics will vary by state. In Nebraska, for example, the spouse staying in the home is currently allowed to keep $128,640.00 in assets (and the same assets exempt for an individual are also exempt for the spouse), plus a maximum monthly “allowance” of $3,216 (and the spouse may retain all of his or her income).

If both spouses are applying for Medicaid, the limits are slightly different.

In Conclusion

Medicaid is a very complex subject and the eligibility rules vary by state. It is important that you verify the various requirements pertaining to your state before planning. Unfortunately, many individuals assume their only option to become eligible for Medicaid is to deplete their assets by paying for care or making unnecessary purchases. But they have other options, and they deserve to be informed!

At The Nebraska Asset Protection Group, we are committed to helping your senior clients accelerate their Medicaid eligibility while also guarding their assets in the most economical way. Our Medicaid Planners are well-versed on the limitations of Medicare coverage and the benefits that Medicaid offers for assisted or skilled nursing care. If you would like a free consultation to learn how we can help, give us a call today or click here to get started!

Why Right Now is the Best Time to Buy Life Insurance

Purchasing life insurance doesn’t have to be hard. Long gone are the days of filling out a paper application, completing blood and urine exams, and then waiting weeks for your results to know if you’re even accepted. Most life insurance companies now offer online applications that can be completed in 10 minutes. Even the blood and urine exams are few and far between.

Here is an example of a recent client that I worked with. We’ll call her, Jane:

Jane, aged 42 reached out to me via phone and requested some term life insurance rates from various companies to make sure she was getting the best deal. She wanted enough coverage to cover her outstanding debt, small burial expense, and a little left over for her daughter who is 12.

She ended up choosing a ten year term policy with $750,000 in coverage, including a rider that will also, cover her daughter. We completed the application over the phone and she electronically signed it via email. The carrier did not require her to complete a blood or urine exam and after only a few days of review she was accepted. Her annual premium came out to $1,100, which she is now paying monthly.

As you can see from this example the process of purchasing life insurance is not difficult. Everything can be completed over the phone and through email. Life insurance companies have streamlined the application process so you don’t have to meet with an agent face to face, if you choose not to, although that option is still available.

I bet you’re saying to yourself that only really healthy and fit people don’t have to take the blood and urine exam. Wrong! Most life insurance companies will allow you to skip the exams as long as you’re under the age of 60 and have little to no health issues. That goes for smokers and non smokers too. Most companies today will review your MVR, drug prescriptions, and medical history for any discrepancies in the answers you provided in the application. Once reviewed rates may be adjusted either up or down.

One last note, you’re probably sick and tired of hearing about the 2020 census and how important it is to complete. Well, life insurance companies use the census to price their products. If, your age or age group’s life expectancy has been negatively impacted over the previous decade then your rates for coverage will most likely increase and stay that way until the next census.

If you found this to be helpful, please share it with others. If you would like one of our licensed agents to contact you for a free life insurance review click here and we will reach out to you directly.

7 Ways Long-Term Care Insurance Can Keep You Out of the Nursing Home.

Spending years in a nursing home is not something people look forward to. For those who plan ahead and purchase long-term care insurance, it may be possible to avoid the nursing home all together. To continue reading this article click here.

For more information on how a long-term care policy could benefit you or your clients give us a call or click here to complete a contact form and one of our licensed advisors will reach out to you directly.

Medicare vs. Medicaid: What Do They Cover?

Being in the line of work I am I often get asked about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Although they sound similar, the two programs have plenty of differences. Here is an explanation of each program and the different coverage each one offers.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federally funded health insurance program available for people aged 65 and older as well as disabled individuals who are under age 65 regardless of income. Like traditional health insurance plans, the insured individual covers any applicable deductible, or copayment, as well as services not covered under Medicare.

Medicare has four parts, each of which covers a different portion of health insurance:

Part A– helps with hospital inpatient care costs and is often referred to as Hospital Insurance.

Part B– is available at an additional cost and includes services and products, like outpatient or observation care from doctors, medical tests, some medical equipment and procedures, etc.

Part C (Medicare Advantage)- is an alternative to traditional Medicare coverage, and often includes Parts A, B, and D, and may also include some procedures not covered by Medicare such as hearing, vision, and dental. Private insurance companies administer Medicare Advantage plans.

Part D– comprises prescription drug coverage and is also administered by private insurance companies. You are required to have it unless you have coverage from another source. Part D requires you to pay a monthly premium in most cases. 

Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home care?

Medicare only covers a nursing home stay immediately after or within 30 days of a medically necessary inpatient hospital stay lasting three or more consecutive days. In order to be eligible for this benefit, the patient must be admitted as an inpatient; nursing home care will not be covered if the hospital stay is classified as outpatient or observation care. The nursing home stay must also be for the ailment diagnosed and treated during the hospital visit; it will not be covered if the skilled nursing care is only for non-skilled activities of daily living (ADLs). In order to qualify for continued coverage, the patient should show signs of improvement based on a schedule laid out by the doctor. Medicare offers coverage for eligible nursing home stays up to 100 days. The first 20 days are fully covered, while days 21-100 require a copayment by the insured for $176 per day (as of 2020).

After 100 days, Medicare will no longer cover a nursing home stay. If the patient is unable to return to the community after 100 days (or less) of skilled nursing care, they will have to pay out of pocket to extend their stay. That is unless they qualify for Medicaid.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults and people with disabilities. Medicaid is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by states and the federal government.

In long-term care situations, Medicaid has both health and financial eligibility requirements. To meet the health prerequisite, applicants must need assistance with at least three activities of daily living (ADLs) and require round-the-clock care. Additionally, individuals must meet income and asset requirements. The rules for income eligibility vary by state, but most states compare the individual’s current income to their cost of care. If their cost of care exceeds their income, they may be eligible for Medicaid. For asset eligibility, non-exempt assets must be less than a specific amount, depending on the state as well as the applicant’s marital status.

What Does it Cover?

Although benefits vary by state, each state is required to cover certain types of care. These include inpatient and outpatient hospital services, nursing home and home health care, laboratory and x-ray diagnostic services, transport to a medical facility, and tobacco-cessation counseling for pregnant women.

In addition to paying Medicare-related expenses such as hospitalization, doctors, and medicines, Medicaid offers two additional types of care that Medicare does not:

Custodial Care– helps you with daily activities. These activities include eating, bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom. Custodial care can be provided in a skilled nursing facility or provided at home.

Nursing Home– Medicaid is the primary provider of long-term nursing home care. Nursing home care under Medicaid is a complex subject. Even if you qualify for it, you may have to pay part of the cost—depending on your income and tax deductions.

Can I Be Covered By Both Programs?

Yes, if you qualify for both programs you’re considered “dual-eligible”. Individuals who fall under this status will have most or all of their healthcare costs covered. Medicaid will pay for most of your Medicare Parts A and B premiums (if you have premiums), along with deductibles and co-payments you may have. It doesn’t matter if you get your Medicare coverage through traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage (MA) Part C plan.

If you are “dual eligible” and receive full Medicaid, your prescription drug coverage (Part D) will go through Medicare, but you will automatically qualify for extra help paying for your medicines. In addition, Medicaid may cover some drugs that Medicare does not.

How We Can Help

At The Nebraska Asset Protection Group, we are committed to helping your senior clients accelerate their Medicaid eligibility while also guarding their assets in the most economically beneficial way. Unfortunately, many individuals assume their only option to become eligible for Medicaid is to deplete their assets by paying for care or making unnecessary purchases. But they have other options, and they deserve to be informed! Our Benefits Planners are well-versed on the limitations of Medicare coverage and the benefits that Medicaid offers for skilled nursing care. To get in touch with us to learn how we can help click here!

How a Medicaid Compliant Annuity Can Help Pay for Long-Term Care

A Medicaid Compliant Annuity is not your typical annuity contract. When properly used a Medicaid Compliant Annuity can help an individual gain immediate Medicaid eligibility. These are specialized annuities normally used during crisis planning as a Medicaid spend-down tool and can help diminish the stringent five-year look back period provision.

First lets begin with Medicaid’s eligibility requirements. Applicants must meet certain non-financial and financial criteria, including asset and income parameters that vary based on their state of residence and marital status. While applicants are allowed to keep unlimited exempt assets, their countable assets must be under a certain limit.

Medicaid Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicant must be 65 years of age or older or disabled
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or qualified alien
  • Applicant must be residing in a Medicaid-approved facility – typically a skilled nursing home (some states offer waiver programs that extend benefits to include assisted living facilities or at-home care)
  • Have less than $2,000 of countable assets in their personal name (amount varies by state)

Having too many countable assets is the primary reason most people don’t qualify for Medicaid. The Medicaid asset restrictions often require applicants to spend down thousands of dollars. Purchasing a Medicaid Compliant Annuity allows them to accomplish this in a quick and efficient way.

A Medicaid Compliant Annuity may be right for you, if you’re: currently residing in a nursing home or have a spouse that is; have exhausted Medicare and any Long-Term Care benefits; pay out of pocket for care; have to many countable assets to qualify for Medicaid.

Medicaid Compliant Annuity:

A Medicaid Compliant Annuity (MCA) is a Single Premium Immediate Annuity (SPIA) that meets the requirements outlined in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA). MCAs are ideal for those who are in a nursing home indefinitely, are paying out of pocket for care, and have excess countable assets. An MCA can be used as a spend-down tool in crisis Medicaid planning as it converts excess countable assets into an income stream that has zero cash value.

The specific plan for using an MCA can vary greatly depending on marital status, state of residence, and other factors. Here are some situations where they have been successfully used:

Married Couple– the MCA can be purchased by either the community spouse or institutionalized spouse using excess countable liquid assets. Either way, the institutionalized spouse gains immediate Medicaid eligibility following the purchase of the annuity.

Single Individual– a single person has two options: They can gift a portion of their countable assets to children and use a MCA with the remaining assets to help pay for care during the penalty period. Or invest the full amount of their liquid assets into the MCA and name the beneficiary.

Although the state Medicaid agency is typically named primary beneficiary, exceptions exist for certain MCA cases. Other beneficiaries may include family members or a trust.

In order for an annuity to be considered Medicaid compliant the following requirements must be met:

  • Be Irrevocable- payment amount, term, and parties to the annuity contract cannot be altered.
  • Be Non-Assignable- the annuity contract cannot be assigned to another party or sold on the secondary market.
  • Be Actuarially Sound- term of the annuity must be equal to or shorter than the owner’s Medicaid life expectancy, which is determined by life expectancy tables.
  • Provide Equal Payments- annuity contract must provide equal monthly payments with no deferral or balloon payments.
  • Name the state Medicaid agency as beneficiary- the state Medicaid agency must be named primary death beneficiary to the extent of benefits paid on behalf of the nursing home resident. Exceptions to this rule vary by state but may apply in certain cases involving a married couple or a minor or disabled child.

Funding Options

An MCA can be funded with either non-qualified or tax-qualified funds. The minimum investment amount is $5,000, and the minimum term length available is two months. Here are some ways to fund a MCA:

Personal Savings– personal checking & savings, money market accounts, and any other liquid cash account proceeds can be used to purchase a MCA.

IRA– proceeds from current retirement accounts can be transferred to fund a MCA. Benefits received will be taxed as payments from the IRA-MCA are made to the payee within each calendar year.

Cash Value Life Insurance– cash value built-up within an active whole life or universal life insurance policy can be used to fund a MCA. A Section 1035 Tax-Free Exchange can be utilized in most cases.

Annuities– current annuity policies in place can be used to fund a Medicaid Compliant Annuity (MCA). A Section 1035 Tax-Free Exchange would allow you to avoid the immediate tax consequences of liquidating the account. Rather, the gain is taxed as payments are made over the term of the MCA. 

If you currently own a pre-existing annuity, we offer complimentary annuity valuation services. We will analyze your preexisting annuity to determine whether it is Medicaid compliant, if it is not, we will perform a valuation process to determine its fair market value and can sell it on the secondary market for you.

How We Can Help?

Our priority is not just to help you qualify for Medicaid benefits—it is also to achieve the best possible result for you and your family given the circumstances of your situation. Creating a MCA strategy is not a one-size-fits-all plan, and neither is choosing a Medicaid advisor to work with.

Our trusted advisors specialize in Medicaid asset protection. This combined with our exclusive carrier products our clients can be sure they’re working with a knowledgable advisor to assist them through the MCA process.

Contact us today to speak with one of our licensed advisors to see how a Medicaid Compliant Annuity might fit into your planning.

How To Pay For Long-Term Care

Long-term care may not be the most exciting topic of discussion when sitting around the kitchen table, but if you want to make a smart financial decision and protect your nest egg, its prudent that you have a discussion. There are quite a few ways to pay for long-term care expenses when that time comes. Below are a few ways to help you pay the bill:

Long-Term Care Insurance

The name speaks for itself. Long-term care insurance covers most, if not, all long-term care services whether it be in-home healthcare, adult-day care, assisted living, or nursing home care. The policy pays a monthly benefit once you’re on claim to pay for these services among others. Partnership program policies allow for dollar-for-dollar protection from Medicaid’s income/asset requirements, if you end up having to file for assistance down the road.

Long-term care insurance is the most effective way to pay for long-term care expenses. There are many types of policies available from hybrid asset based life insurance policies to traditional long-term care insurance policies. Each policy allows you to customize the benefits to fit your budget and future health needs. A policy may not cover 100% of your costs, but it can reduce them significantly.

Social Security or Pension

This is the most common way that pay for long-term care services. It is a guaranteed stream of income each month and may cover all or most long-term care costs. Of course any amount paid to a long-term care facility means less in your pocket.

Veterans Aid and Attendance Program

The Veterans Administration provides monthly benefits for anyone who has served as little as 90 days in the military during a time of war as well as benefits for a surviving spouse. There are other requirements such as income and asset maximums, but this can significantly help pay for your stay. Keep in mind in most cases it does not pay for the full costs of care.

Health Savings Account & Savings Account

Funds you withdraw from your Health Savings Account (HSA) are tax-free when used to pay for qualified medical expenses including, but not limited too: long-term care & home healthcare services, prescription drug costs, medical procedures, lodging and meals, and much more.

These are a really great asset to have, if your employer sponsored health plan offers them. Talk with your HR person to find out, if this is an option on your group health plan. HSA’s grow tax deferred and can be used as an additional retirement account, if carefully planned.

Life Insurance Cash-Value or Riders

Whole life and universal life insurance policies that have been in-force for quite a few years should have some significant cash-value built up within the policy that is accessible and sometimes without any penalties. If, you happen to have a life insurance policy with a chronic illness rider you can use the benefit to pay for most, if not, all long-term care services. Cash value life insurance offers the flexibility and liquidity needed during times of financial stress.

As mentioned above you can customize a cash value life insurance policy to include coverage for long-term care expenses with different riders and or with hybrid-life insurance policies that offer a death benefit that can be withdrawn from early to pay for long-term care expenses.


Both fixed annuities and indexed annuities can come with contracts that pay extra if you need long-term care. These plans are available to people up to age 85 and any long-term care benefits you receive from the annuity will be tax free.

With an immediate long-term care annuity the insurance company will send you a specified monthly income in return for a single premium payment. This option is available regardless of your current health status. If you do not qualify for long-term care insurance because of age or poor health or if you are already receiving long-term care, you can still purchase an annuity.


For inpatient hospital care, Medicare patients may receive coverage for 90 days under Medicare Part A. The first 60 days are fully covered by Medicare after the Medicare copay (or deductible), while the following 61-90 days have a coinsurance payment per day. If the patient requires skilled nursing care instead of full inpatient hospital care, Medicare may also cover a temporary nursing home stay. After 100 days, Medicare will no longer cover a nursing home stay. If the patient is unable to return to the community after 100 days (or less) of skilled nursing care, they will have to pay out of pocket to extend their stay. That is unless they qualify for Medicaid.


Medicaid has both health and financial eligibility requirements that must be met. The rules for income eligibility vary by state, but are typically no more than $4,000 per individual. Once Medicaid eligibility is verified, individuals will receive long-term care in a Medicaid-approved facility and will have all care paid for by the program minus their co-share, if any.

Withdraw from Retirement Accounts

You can use your current withdrawals or increase them to cover the additional expenses of long-term care services. An increase in withdrawals will increase your income tax burden, but some of the withdrawals may qualify for a medical expense deduction essentially making them tax-free. Speak with your accountant with regards to any tax questions.

Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages allow you to receive cash against the value of your home without selling it. You can choose to receive a lump-sum payment, a monthly payment, or a line of credit.

There are no restrictions on how you use the remainder of the money. So long as you continue to live in the home you retain the title and ownership of it and you do not have to repay the loan as long as you continue to live in the home. You must meet with an approved reverse mortgage counselor before you can start the loan process. 

Friends and Family

It may hurt your pride to ask for help, but in some cases it may be a viable option and possibly your only option. Many religious communities will also, have funds specifically set aside for this type of burden and are willing to help out during financial distress.

Children are often left with taking care of mom or dad’s extended long-term needs up until the health needs of the parent are far too much for the son or daughter to handle. This not only puts a burden on the child, but, also the parent which is not good for either.

How We Can Help

When its time to address financial needs that have been or will be created by long-term care needs of a loved one, we know that the process feels overwhelming and the future seems uncertain. At Nebraska Asset Protection Group we’re insurance advisors that specialize in the long-term care process. With our unique planning tools we can help you protect your most precious assets while ensuring you leave a lasting legacy that you can be proud of.

Contact us today for a free long-term care review. If, you would like us to contact you click here and we will reach out to you directly!