How To Pay For Elder Care

how to pay for elder careSo many families that I work with wonder how to pay for Elder Care. There are several different options for Elder Care or Senior Care:

  • Private Duty Homecare
  • Skilled Home Health Care
  • Independent Living
  • Assisted Living and Continuing Care Retirement Communities
  • Memory Care Facilities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Hospice Care

All forms of care accept private pay funding which means payment comes from sources other than Medicare or Medicaid. Private pay allows the recipients of care to choose the form and setting that they prefer. Private Pay can be funded by savings and investments, long term care insurance or annuities, social security or other retirement benefits, Veterans’ benefits, and through the conversion of a life insurance policy into a Life Care Benefit Plan (or Long Term Care Benefit Plan).

In fact, numerous states in 2013 introduced laws to encourage owners of life insurance policies to convert their policies to remain Private Pay instead of abandoning them to go onto Medicaid.

Another Way to Pay for Elder Care option is public sources such as:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid.

Medicare will only cover the first 100 days of in-patient nursing home based skilled and rehabilitation services. After the 100 day period is over, expensive daily co-pays kick in or a patient would need to switch to Medicaid. To qualify for Medicaid, the patient would need to meet both medical necessity and financial eligibility requirements to qualify. A Medicaid recipient must be at poverty level financial levels and middle class Americans will need to “spend-down” their assets to get rid of things like their home(s), vehicle(s), and financial instruments such as life insurance policies to even qualify. This then makes them a ward of the state. Once a person has made themselves a ward of the state, the most typical setting to receive Medicaid funded care would be in a nursing home and the patient would live in a shared room not of their choosing. Most seniors do not want this type of care.

Medicaid was created to fund healthcare services for the poor. The vast majority of seniors looking to pay for Elder Care would prefer to not be on Medicaid and moved into a nursing home. If they are able to use private pay funds they are then able to remain at home longer and choose the form of care they want.

A care director, like those at ElderCompass can help guide you with financial options and save you money with options that work for your elder.

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