A state’s Medicaid program is typically the best option for paying for a client’s long term care if the client has minimal assets with rising medical needs or has done appropriate preventative planning. Unfortunately, New Jersey Medicaid’s strict eligibility rules, harsh limitations on spouses, and mandatory estate recovery efforts often turn clients off to the Medicaid program. For these clients, the following alternate options are available.

Long Term Care Insurance

Unfortunately for clients already facing a health crisis, long term care insurance is simply not a viable option. For clients in their late 40s and 50s, purchasing long term care insurance is the best way to plan for a long term care crisis. Each long term care insurance policy provides a variety of coverage. There are professionals who can assist with selecting the Long term care insurance best for your preferences and situation. We recommend seeking the guidance of such professionals for guidance before enrolling in any plans.

Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefits (also known as “Pension”)

If client was a veteran who served for at least 90 days with one day being during a time of war, both the client and their spouse should consider Veterans benefits as an option for paying for their long term care needs. For those who qualify, the VA can provide $1,100 – $2,100 of income per month. This income allows a recipient to remain at home while affording the care they need. There are other eligibility criteria for the VA Aid & Attendance program. Anyone interested in this program should consult an elder law attorney accredited to give Veterans advice.

Home Equity

Clients who own real estate can utilize the equity value of their property to pay for their long term care. The client would take a lump sum loan against the property and then use this to pay for any caregivers as needed. It is important to note that monthly repayment options are required for home equity loans. This option is ideal for clients with high income and who wish to remain at home. An individual interested utilizing a home equity loan to pay for their long term care should consult professionals in both elder law and home equity loans.

Reverse Mortgages

This is another option for clients who own a primary residence and wish to use the value of their property as income to pay for care. A financial institution makes a loan to the property owner and secures repayment of the loan against the property. The benefit is the home owner’s ability to use the value of their home during life. Additionally unlike home equity loans, repayment is not due until the borrower passes away, leaves, or sells the property. An individual interested in a reverse mortgage should contact a professional in this area as well as an elder law attorney for further information.