The choice to move a loved one in an assisted living facility can be difficult and come with so many questions. Some of the first questions most families ask are:
- How will we pay for it?
- What will I be able to cover for my loved one?
- What kind of care will will our budget afford?
- Is there any way to receive financial assistance?
There are a few different options you and your family can use to help pay for your loved one to have the quality of care he or she needs.
Medicare and Medicaid are often considered to be synonymous, but in reality, they’re not. Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people over the age of 65, but it does NOT pay for long-term care services, assisted living facilities, or retirement communities.
Medicaid, on the other hand, DOES for people with low income and limited assets. Each state sets its own guidelines of what is covered. Most states do offer Medicaid beneficiaries financial assistance with assisted living. It isn’t likely to cover room and board the way it would for residents in a retirement community, but it may provide services to help delay the need for transitioning into a memory care unit until it’s absolutely necessary.
2. Veterans’ Benefits
If your loved one previously served in the armed forces, they or their surviving spouses (if they’ve passed) are entitled to Veterans Benefits through the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if they meet certain income and asset requirements.
One benefit is the Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefit. This pension specifically helps eligible veterans and their surviving spouses assistance with paying for assisted living facilities.
3. Private pay
Of course, if possible, it’s always an option for you to pay for your loved one’s care through your personal savings or even by cashing in retirement plans. These are often not the best long-term solution and a decision like depleting your savings or cashing in retirement plans should not be made lightly. They should be considered as a last resort.
4. Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is a private insurance policy specifically for help in covering the costs of assisted living for your loved one. The price of the premium will depend on your loved one’s circumstances and can help cut down the costs. But there can be many ways your loved one could be denied (such as for pre-existing conditions), and it does require you to plan ahead.
5. Using a Reverse Mortgage
If your loved one owned their home outright before they needed to be placed in an assisted living facility or retirement home, a reverse mortgage can provide you the funds to pay towards their senior living facility. There are several different types of reverse mortgages, but Home Equity Conversion Mortgages are the most popular. Consider speaking with your local bank or financial advisor if this is an option you’re considering.
Finding a way to pay for your loved one’s long-term care at an assisted living facility or retirement community is possible. Look into benefit or pension options first, and then assess other avenues. Do also try to plan ahead. If you can plan well in advance for their long-term needs, you will be in a better position to help them when the time comes.
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