Ways to Pay for Assisted Living
When families begin looking for long term care for their elderly loved ones, they are often overwhelmed by the costs, which range on average between
$3000 – $6000/month.
We find most people are surprised to discover that not only does Medicare or Medi-Cal not pay for care, but that private pay costs are significantly higher than expected. Families often feel the costs are out of reach and become discouraged. As experts in this field, we can provide families with information on ways to potentially meet those costs and obtain the care that is needed.
In a nutshell, Medicare is a government program providing senior health care insurance, as well as nursing home payments for rehab purposes after a hospitalization. It is not designed to pay for long term care.
Medicaid is another government program that is overseen by each state individually and referred to by different names in each state. In California, it is referred to as “Medi-Cal.” Medi-Cal is only available to those on a very low income, and though it does pay for some long-term care outside of a nursing home, it is most often used for long-term care in a nursing home (“Skilled Nursing Facility”). There are an extremely limited amount of assisted living and memory care settings that accept Medi-Cal, and therefore, this is not be the primary way that families should expect to pay for a long-term care setting outside of a nursing home.
VA Aid & Attendance is a program which can help offset costs for veterans and their living or widowed spouses. If service dates are within the guidelines (whether stateside or out of country), if there has been an honorable or medical discharge, if there are daily care need requirements that fit the eligibility criteria, and if basic financial guidelines are met (many income levels may qualify), then there may be benefits in the amount of approximately $1200 – $2500/month available to help offset qualified care costs.
Those who are already receiving a military pension may still be eligible, based on review. We have helped many families by directing them to appropriate resources for assistance in obtaining this benefit once care is required.
LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE
This is a privately purchased insurance that provides a monetary benefit to offset care costs for in-home care, assisted living, or memory care. It is imperative to purchase this insurance before care needs are occurring, and as it can be quite costly, it is best to purchase this between the ages of 40 – 60. After that time, the costs can escalate significantly. Those with long term care insurance can choose from a wider selection of care options as out-of-pocket costs can be greatly reduced.
Whether it be a combination of the senior’s monthly income, family contributions, a home sale, and/or savings (as well as adding in possible VA benefits or long-term care insurance), personal contribution of some sort is often a key component to pay for care.
To identify the right care options for your loved one, and to discuss how to afford care, please call to review your loved one’s needs or visit our website for further information. We provide a free service, and work with over 1400 care settings in Southern California who reimburse us for our work. We would be happy to offer you the education and guidance you need.