How To Pay For Assisted Living or Nursing Home

Paying for Senior Care is important, but can be costly. The best assisted living and nursing homes can cost over $4,000/mo, and high-end, luxury senior housing facilities can cost $8,000+/mo (plus an entrance fee!).

Average costs for senior care (acl.gov):

Compared to 2004, senior living costs have increased 80-90%.

Here’s some good things to consider when searching for a senior care facility.

  • How much money do they have saved for retirement?
  • Are there assets that can be used towards senior care costs?
  • What do Medicare, Medicaid, and Medi-Gap pay for?
  • Do you have long-term care insurance and if so – what does it cover?
  • Do you have, or should you get Medicare Supplemental insurance?
  • Do you need to hire a financial advisor, and if so – how?
  • What about a will or trust?
  • What do your VA benefits cover?
  • Does your state accept Medicaid for Assisted Living Facilities? Check here.
  • How much do the various facility types cost? And what are the differences? When researching on seniorchecklist.com, make sure to look at the facility’s “starting price”.
  • Is it more expensive to go to an assisted living facility or is it better to stay at home and provide In-home care?

Planning for long-term care is complicated. Each person’s needs are unique and prices vary greatly.

There’s a few different ways to finance long-term care. You will probably need to use a combination of payment sources, which may include Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care insurance, and other programs, in addition to your own resources.

We recommend consulting a professional such as an elder law attorney, financial planner, or CPA accountant when planning for long-term care; this person should be well versed in estate planning, public programs like Medicaid, and the issues and needs of older persons.

Here are 6 options that may be available to help pay for senior care:

  1. Medicare – for long-term care, covers some skilled nursing care either in a nursing home or in the home along with hospice care.
  2. Medicaid – partially federally funded, but the state-operated program provides medical care for certain low-income individuals and families who have limited resources. Medicaid usually covers nursing home care, but in some states, funding is available for assisted living, home care, or home health care.
  3. Medicare A & B Coverage – is for seniors who are not receiving Medicaid.
    • Medicare Part A generally helps pay hospital in-patient costs.
    • Medicare Part B helps pay for doctor visits, preventive care, medical supplies, lab tests, etc.
  4. Managed Care (HMO) – provides enhanced services for nursing home care above Medicare’s basic offering along with additional medical assistance outside of long-term care.
  5. Long-term Care Insurance (LTCI) – used to cover anything from non-medical home-care to nursing care; however, it depends on the type of policy you purchased.
  6. Veterans Benefits – cover adult day health care, home health care, respite care, and hospice care.

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