An established and rising alternative to an assisted living facility or nursing home is home care services.
The main advantage for many seniors who choose to use professional home care is that they may continue to live in the place where they feel most at ease, which is at home.
Nonetheless, the majority of people require financial support for home care.
You might be qualified for benefits, such as long-term insurance or Veterans benefits, that assist with the cost of these services.
What financial assistance might be pertinent to you and your loved one is summarized here.
Long-Term Care Insurance
But, there is a specific type of insurance called long-term care insurance that will cover a person for their future care needs. Most health and medical policies do not cover long-term care.
The price of the policy and the benefit it provides, as with most insurance policies, will be based on your age, health, and the policy start date. It is doubtful that you would qualify for long-term care insurance if you already require care. But there are significant advantages to long-term care insurance if you are making prior plans for aging, as we advise everyone to do.
In general, long-term care insurance will pay for a wide range of care options, including nursing homes, senior care facilities, and in-home care. Long-term care insurance can be another optional benefit that your employer provides.
Advantages of Private Home Care
Programs operated by the Department of Home Care may offer financial support for in-home care.
Programs enable seniors of any age who are chronically ill or disabled to live in their homes.
Among the potential offerings are palliative care and respite care.
For beneficiaries who are housebound or in need of assistance, the government also administers programs referred to as home care service providers.
The home care providers or surviving spouses must be qualified and in need of help from another person.
- State Health Insurance Programs
- Determined Care Flex Spending Account (FSA)
- Regional Advantages and Perks
- Paying for Expenses on Your Own
- Navigating Your Possibilities
Medicare is a federal program that offers medical benefits to those who are over 65 or who are under 65 but have specific disabilities.
Medicare prioritizes short-term care for conditions that will improve essential medical care, so in most situations, it won’t cover long-term care services like assistance with dressing, eating, moving around, or using the restroom. There are some situations where Medicare may help.
Physical and occupational therapy as well as competent nursing care are eligible for home care services. For patients with terminal illnesses and those who, according to their doctors, have less than six months to live, Medicare will also pay for hospice and respite care. Medicare may pay for caregiver respite care in this situation, as well as caregiver respite care provided at home and during brief hospital stays.
State Health Insurance Programs
Medicaid is a cooperative federal-state health insurance program that primarily covers those with low incomes. Contrary to Medicare, Medicaid programs do pay for long-term home care services, such as assistance with bathing or dressing, for those who satisfy certain requirements. The main public funder of long-term care services is Medicaid.
Medicaid eligibility varies by the state even if there are general federal requirements, as some states go beyond them. You must fulfill requirements for Medicaid eligibility based on your income and asset holdings. The state will also decide if you are eligible for long-term care services or if you are eligible for Medicaid.
Please take note that to qualify for Medicaid, a person must be above 65 or have a permanent impairment if they are under 65.
They must also be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the state to which they are applying. Most states automatically qualify seniors who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or who fall below the poverty level.
An individual must own fewer assets than the state’s threshold in addition to meeting the income requirements. These assets do not include your primary property but do include things like checking and savings accounts and/or bonds (provided equity in that home is less than a certain level).
Once eligibility has been established, a medical professional (often a nurse) will evaluate to determine the senior’s needs and which services, if any, are required.
You must apply locally in your state because Medicaid is controlled by the states. Information on local Medicaid Eligibility Offices should be available through your State Medical Assistance Office. Medicaid applications typically take 45 days to process.
Determined Care Flex Spending Account (FSA)
Under certain circumstances, you might be able to utilize funds from your FSA to pay for the care of an elderly relative. The person you care about must be your legal dependency. The bar is high, and your loved one must be incapable of taking care of their physical and emotional needs.
Prepare to keep all receipts and other supporting information for those claims and expenses. To confirm your eligibility, the IRS could ask for an itemized list of receipts.
Regional Advantages and Perks
Further, local perks may be offered depending on where the senior resides.
Local aging and disability resource centers can provide you with a plethora of information about what is available in your region.
Paying for Expenses on Your Own
Long-term care services can be paid for privately through personal funds or by pooling resources with family members. The Department of Health and Human Services offers detailed information about financing options for private long-term care, including but not limited to, reverse mortgages, annuities, and trusts. It is important to consider these options carefully and obtain professional advice before making any decisions about financing long-term care.
Navigating Your Possibilities
Regardless of the path you choose, there are options available to you. Visiting Angels offers in-home consultations to help you understand the costs associated with their services and explore potential financial resources that may be available. It is important to explore all available options and seek professional advice to make informed decisions about your care.
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