Paying for health care can be daunting, particularly when it seems like it will be a perpetual cost. Retirement homes often cost upwards of $3,000 per month, and don’t offer any care. Assisted Living communities usually average $4,000 per month, and the average stay is around 2 years. That works out to almost $100,000. Nursing homes are more expensive yet, with Medicare paying an initial portion, but out of pocket costs averaging around $7,000 per month. With those numbers floating around, most of us are asking the question, “How am I going to pay for this?”
Whether it is you, your spouse, a parent, or another family member in need of assistance, there are options available. Sometimes the real work is accessing the resources. Here are a few helpful options:
- Long Term Care InsuranceMost of the time, people who need long term care insurance are too late to get it. But if it is in place, it can help offset the cost of care greatly. Most long term care policies have a daily reimbursement rate, a “cap” (a maximum amount awarded each month/year), and an “overall cap” (a maximum amount that can be awarded- either a set number or a number of years). They will also require information about the care being provided. For instance, an insurance provider may want to know what kind of assistance a client is in need of? Who is providing the care? And how often are they providing it? Reimbursement rates are typically higher for nursing homes, but so are costs.
- Veteran’s Aid and Attendance PensionThe Aid and Attendance pension is a little known benefit available to veterans and their spouses. The benefit has a few key points to be aware of. First, the Veteran’s Administration determines each year the maximum pension allowed. The amounts very based on the person requesting the benefit. Aid and Attendance is available to the veteran himself/herself; a surviving, un-remarried spouse; the veteran and spouse together. This year, the maximum benefits were in the following amounts:The second important fact regarding the benefit is that it is need based. In short, this means that the Veteran’s Administration wants to ensure that the person/people receiving the benefit has/have an income level below that of their total medical expenses in a month. The formula gets a little complicated, but the award is intended to help those who need it and wouldn’t be able to afford care otherwise.
- Medicare vs. MedicaidThe question I am asked most often is, “Will Medicare help pay for my care?” The short answer is no (most of the time). Medicare is effectively health insurance, and will pay for a hospital stay, and a short term stay in a nursing home (broken down into daily reimbursements up to 100 days). But Medicare will not pay for long term care whether it is in the home, an assisted living community, or adult family home. Medicaid, however, will pay for care. Medicaid is state funded public assistance reserved for low income individuals. A person has to qualify for Medicaid in order to be eligible for Medicaid funded care.
- Private Pay (Out of Pocket Costs)The most common form of payment is private pay from the individual or family in need of care. The beauty of in home care is that you only pay for what you need. Assisted living communities, nursing homes, and other facility based care options charge a flat fee, even if you need minimal assistance. In home services can range from a simple hour of help per week, to twenty-four hour a day supervision.As more people are in need of care, there are other creative ways to help finance the cost. These are the most common, but we would love to help you find the resources necessary to pay for care.Don’t let fear hold you back any longer, call today to get in touch with one of our experts!