If you need long-term care, in the form of nursing home care, assisted living, or ongoing home health care, you shouldn’t wait for Medicare to pay for it. To receive those kinds of Medicare benefits, typically, you have to have been hospitalized or injured, and those are only available for a limited time. While Medicare may not be able to help in these situations, let’s look at nine other things that can:
- Short-term care insurance. These types of plans are often similar to long-term care insurance policies, but often the benefits end after just a year. They’re less expensive and also might even be available to seniors or those who may not otherwise be able to receive long-term coverage.
- Life/long-term care insurance. A few life insurance policies offer benefits to cover long-term care too.
- Health savings accounts. For people who have an eligible high deductible health insurance plan, having a health savings account allows them a way to set aside money without worrying about taxes for medical costs, like long-term care. They are also known by their other name, health IRAs, and those people who have long-term care insurance are able to pay their premiums with money from the health savings account.
- Long-term care annuities. These are often overlooked when it comes to covering home health, assisted living or nursing home care costs. Normally they require a big financial contribution upfront, but the cost overall might be lower than what you’d likely spend on insurance premiums anyway if you need long-term care. You shouldn’t expect to gain much interest, though, as they don’t compare to the types of returns you would see in other types of investments.
- Life Plan Communities. Once known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities, these types of communities have their residents living on their own at first. When necessary, they can then make the transition to assisted living, memory care, or a nursing home operated by the community. While also requiring monthly payments, they have a high upfront payment that may translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Although, in exchange, members are guaranteed access to needed care even if they can’t keep paying for it.
- Veterans’ Benefits. Those who have a service-related disability can get access to long-term care services through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Caregivers could also be eligible to receive compensation as well through the agency’s Aid and Attendance program.
- Home equity. Those retirees who don’t have significant investments could still own a valuable asset—their house. Getting into their home equity through a credit line, taking out a reverse mortgage or simply selling the house are some of the ways people can use to pay for long-term care.
- Pensions or Social Security. Paying for needed services out of a monthly pension or Social Security benefit could be an option, though this is dependent on the size of monthly payments and the amount of care you need.
- Medicaid. When you have no other options left, and both income and assets have been used up, the government will then step in to cover your care. Medicaid isn’t going to pay for assisted living, but will pay for nursing home care and a great many states also cover home health care services for eligible individuals. Though, states are required by the government to get back the cost of long-term care from any estates whenever possible. This means that, as an example, if a parent’s home is sold after their death, then any proceeds from the sale might go to the state instead of any possible heirs.
If you or someone you love needs assistance with Elder Care law issues, call 856-281-3131. Let us help ease your stress and give you a plan.