Frequently, clients come to us to help create a plan for their future. Whether the plan involves preparing to protect their assets, creating a Durable Power of Attorney, or seeking advice about moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home, we remain available to offer guidance and expertise to assist clients with their needs. A question that has recently increased in prominence, however, is how can I afford to pay for senior home care? Unfortunately, the rising costs of long-term care have left many Older Americans unprepared financially for their next stage in life.
To help ease your concerns about this important issue, let us share with you some options that may be available to you to help pay for senior home care.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, approximately 41 percent of recipients of home health care use Medicare to pay for those services. To qualify for Medicare assistance, however, there are some eligibility requirements that must be met. First, you must be under the care of a doctor who certifies that you need either skilling nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language pathology. Second, the home health care agency that you select must be certified by Medicare, and finally, a doctor must certify that you are homebound. It is important to know that Medicare does not cover 24-hour home care, personal care, or assistance with other activities of daily living, such as household tasks, bathing, and preparing meals.
If you require homemaker and personal care services, Medicaid’s Statewide Long-Term Care Program may help you pay for that specific type of home-based care. To be eligible for Medicaid, you must meet certain financial eligibility requirements and be determined eligible by a “level of care” assessment.
Once these requirements have been met, you can select a care agency to assist you with your home care.
3. Home care for veterans
If you are a veteran, you may qualify for a household benefit through your VA pension. The household benefit is a payment for those who are receiving in-home care or are residing with a family member. To be eligible for veteran household benefits, you must have a single permanent disability, evaluated as 100 percent disabling, that permanently confines you to your immediate premises. As a veteran, you may also be eligible for homemaker and home health care aide. This type of aide will come to your home and assist you with activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, dressing, and performing household tasks.
4. Private insurance
If you are not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or veterans benefits, you may still be able to pay for long-term home care through private long-term care insurance. These policies can cover home care, home modification, and care coordination. When researching the right insurance policy for you, be sure to evaluate your circumstances and the type of coverage that you need. It is important that you do not rush into selecting a policy without performing thorough research.
We know that paying for senior home care can be a challenging and overwhelming process.
Remember, we are here to be a resource for you. If you need more advice about preparing for rising long-term care costs, if you need assistance applying for Medicare or veterans benefits, or if you have any other specific issues, do not hesitate to contact our office to set up an appointment with one of our experienced Elder Law attorneys.