Additional programs that may apply to family members include the VA Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA), a comprehensive health-care program in which the VA shares the cost of covered services and supplies for eligible beneficiaries; the spina bifida health-care benefits program for certain Korea and Vietnam veterans’ birth children; and TRICARE, another health-care program serving uniformed service members, retirees and their families.
• You can convert your life insurance policy for long-term care. There is $27.2 trillion worth of in-force life insurance policies in the United States, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners – that’s triple the amount of home equity today! Rather than cancel or drop a policy to save on premiums when faced with long-term care needs, you can use it to pay for home care, assisted-living or nursing home expenses. “I’ve been lobbying state Legislatures to make the public aware of their legal right to use this option,” says Orestis, CEO of Life Care Funding, (www.lifecarefunding.com). Seniors can sell their policy for 30 to 60 percent of its death benefit value and put the money into an irrevocable, tax-free fund designated specifically for their care.
• Don’t be so quick to attempt to qualify for Medicaid. Many people who need significant long-term health care can’t afford it, so they drop life insurance policies that they’ve been carrying for years in order to qualify for Medicaid. Families often turn to Medicaid to pay for nursing home care, but it comes with many restrictions, including choice of facilities. In a situation where one spouse is healthy and the other is not, the spouse living independently will also face restrictions on the amount of assets he or she can retain, for instance, a maximum $2,898.00 for monthly maintenance.