The chances are pretty high that someone in your family is going to need to use the services offered by a nursing home at some point during their lives. In fact, elderly people aged 65 and over have around a 70% chance of needing long term care. Unfortunately, in our broken system, nursing home care costs can run so high that it can cripple a family. And with horrible news stories with titles like “the rise in Oklahoma nursing home abuse,” flooding our media outlets, we end up looking for more expensive nursing homes, with better qualifications. This only increases the cost.
If you are in this situation or you are being pro-active and thinking about the future, you may be wondering how you will afford these costs.
Planning for the Long-Term
The best thing you can do is to plan as far ahead as possible. Do not rely on things like Medicare, as they only cover you under certain conditions and only offer limited cover. Medicare doesn’t cover long term care either, so you won’t get any help with assisted living. It will, however, provide you with certain services that you should take advantage of. These include home health and outpatient therapy.
One great way to plan for the long term is to enroll in a private health insurance plan as early as possible. The earlier you get on board, the lower the premiums usually. These plans need to be in place before any major health events occur as after an event, you will struggle to get cover.
If you are in a position to sign onto a plan like this before anything has happened, we strongly advise you to do so. With the average cost of a private room in the U.S costing $8500 dollars a month, or over $105,000 dollars annually, and the average stay being over 850 days, you can do the maths.
If a stay in a nursing home is unaffordable or will exhaust all of the patient’s assets, they may be eligible for a Medicaid program. Medicaid programs are required by the state to help cover nursing homes. To qualify for this, the patient needs to meet the strict requirements, both financially and health-wise. In most cases, the state will still expect some contribution from the beneficiary.
Veterans A&A or Aid and Attendance is a service that provides aid to veterans in need. A surviving spouse can claim around $1100 dollars a month, and a surviving couple can claim around $2100 dollars a month. This is the same as social security and is paid directly to you from the treasury. This money can be used for nursing home care and assisted living communities.
Unfortunately, the price of nursing homes and assisted living is at an all-time high. The best plan of action is to start thinking about what your game plan is as early as possible. If you have not planned in advance, you will need to speak to an expert on what government funding you can get.