Growing old is inevitable and for some individuals, it means that they may need to rely on others to help take care of basic needs. No one wants to feel like a burden on their children and family. By planning and preparing for long-term care now, you can begin to take measures for later in your life while you are still independent. That way, if the time comes when you need long-term care, you will have plans already in place. The Chicago long-term care planning attorneys are here to look at your case and determine whether you qualify for Medicaid or need long-term care insurance.

For many elderly adults, the chances of needing long-term care at some point in their retirement years are high. In fact, an estimated 70 percent of all adults over the age of 65 will need long-term care at some point, with their chances increasing every year. That’s why it’s essential that long-term care planning is part of your estate plan.

Unfortunately, long-term care is incredibly expensive. While Illinois residents pay slightly less than the national average, it still costs just over $80,000 a year for long-term care with the average length of care being three years. Sadly, it doesn’t take long for these costs to rapidly deplete one’s retirement savings and other personal wealth.

At Peck Ritchey, LLC, our Chicago long-term care planning attorneys work with many aging Americans. We understand what type of assistance you may need in the future and how to plan accordingly. Our experience working in Elder Law has helped many other seniors with long-term care and we can help you form a plan that will work for your specific situation as well.

What Is Long-Term Planning?

Most people understand that you need a plan for handling the division of your assets and estate when you die, but what about a plan for living and getting older? For some adults, getting older often results in needing professional in-home care or a move to a long-term care facility like a nursing home or assisted living. Dementia, strokes, advanced heart disease, and diabetes can leave elderly adults unable to care for themselves.

Depending on when these illnesses start, you may require multiple years of long-term care, that, without strategic planning with an experienced long-term care attorney, could deplete all your financial assets. The Chicago long-term care lawyers take a personalized approach to these cases by listening to your goals and objectives, assessing current resources, and coming up with a comprehensive plan to address long-term care down the road.

How Does Long-Term Care Insurance Work

Sadly, long-term care isn’t covered by traditional health insurance plans or, for adults over 65, by Medicaid. As a separate insurance policy, long-term care insurance covers all expenses related to long-term care like extended in-home professional medical care or assisted living and nursing home care.

But like all insurance plans, every long-term care policy is different and may not offer coverage for all expenses. A skilled and experienced long-term care attorney can go over every step with you and look for the following:

  • How much you will pay over the lifetime of the policy – Like car, health, and flood insurance, individuals with long-term coverage pay premiums that increase as you get older. An attorney can determine how much you’ll pay and work to get you the lowest rate.
  • Maximum benefits – Some policies have a cap on benefits, making the policyholder responsible for any additional costs above the limit.
  • Waiting period – Some policies have a waiting period before they go into effect, meaning they will not cover any expenses during the waiting period time.
  • Automatic termination – There are cases where a policy is terminated when a person reaches a certain age


Acknowledging that you may eventually need long-term care can be hard for many people. However, planning for your future can be incredibly beneficial. As you become older, conducting normal everyday tasks can become increasingly difficult. With long-term care planning, you can make this decline more manageable by reaching out to people who are willing to help you prepare for upcoming hardships. Long-term care can provide you with an array of assistance, including help with eating, bathing, grocery shopping, and caring for pets. Early long-term care planning is quintessential for those that may need it and there are many benefits that arise with early planning, including:

  • Finding solace knowing that your future will be looked after by individuals who care
  • Giving you more time to find someone you trust to help you with important day to day tasks
  • Ease of mind for your family
  • Finding a suitable nursing home or caretaker for when you are in need of assistance

The amount of long-term care one needs varies from person to person based on factors such as past health, disease, and genetic predispositions. Fortunately, there are very few things that long-term care will not be able to assist you with, and those that work in the industry understand the troubles that arise with no longer being able to take care of yourself. Whether you suffered from a traumatic accident that has left you impaired or are becoming ever more disabled with age, you should not be afraid to reach out for the help that you need and begin to plan for your future now.

How Do Medicare and Medicaid Work with Long-Term Care?

For older adults relying on Medicare to cover long-term care, there is bad news. While Medicare and private health insurance can cover some expenses such as up to 100 days following an extended hospital stay, it will not cover these costs long-term. However, a Chicago long-term care attorney at Peck Ritchey, LLC can help you explore and obtain eligibility for alternative ways of covering these expenses.

While Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance for adults over the age of 65, Medicaid helps pay for medical costs for people with limited income and resources. A number of facilities will accept Medicaid for a shorter period of time (two to three years).

But just because Medicaid covers those with lower income, you don’t have to be extremely poor or sell off your assets and investment in order to qualify for it. In fact, Medicaid lets people retain a number of assets like a home, car, burial spaces, personal belongings, and other assets.

To see if you can qualify for Medicaid, contact a Chicago elder law attorney right away. While there may be instances where you can qualify, the rules and procedures for qualifying can be incredibly complex and if improperly reported, can result in serious penalties. The attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC can look at your assets, strategically restructure your estate, and help you apply for Medicaid to cover long-term care.


If you would like to begin to plan for your long-term care now, the Chicago long-term care planning lawyers of Peck Ritchey, LLC, can assist you throughout every step of the process so that your retirement can be as trouble-free and enjoyable as possible for you and your family. For a free confidential consultation call our attorney’s today to hear more about the possible benefits of early long-term care planning at (855) 328-5787.