Here at Mary T, we want you to feel confident about assisted living. We understand that considering this move in your life is a big step. But we assist clients all the time as we help them find the best senior housing options for their needs.
You can count on our assisted living specialists to provide guidance and direction in all of your senior living needs. But today we want to address one of the most frequent questions we are asked: paying for assisted living.
If you are concerned with how you are going to pay for long-term senior living, please keep reading to learn more about your options.
What Does Medicare Cover for Assisted Living?
Medicare is a type of health insurance that many Americans who are 65 and older are eligible to get. However, it does not usually cover the costs associated with assisted living. However, it will typically cover a short-term stay at a nursing or rehabilitation community.
This is handy if you are just recovering from an illness or injury. Medicare can also be helpful in covering in-home rehab care. So if you need the services of a home health nurse or therapist while you’re on the mend from a surgery or illness, Medicare is ideal.
Medicaid, on the other hand, does pay for various senior living expenses. You or your loved one can qualify for Medicaid if they currently have low income and few assets other than their home. Since Medicaid is a government-funded program, there are easier qualifications for seniors to take advantage of it.
What’s more, nearly all Medicaid programs cover assisted living costs to some extent for eligible residents. Although Medicaid does not pay for the cost of assisted living in assisted living communities, it will cover nursing care and other services associated with assisted living.
As such, you may find it’s much easier to meet your assisted living needs with Medicaid covering some of the external expenses. You can get help with case management needs, medication management, medical exams, and other assessments.
Since these services are often part of senior living needs, Medicaid could provide the financial assistance you or your family member needs to successfully move into an assisted living facility.
How Do I Get Financial Assistance for Assisted Living?
As you search for communities, you will find that nearly all of them offer residents choice of either all-inclusive or fee-for-service when it comes to paying for assisted living.
All-inclusive comes with a single monthly fee. This fee functions to cover rent, daily meals, and any other senior care services a resident might need. For example, transportation or housekeeping.
On the other hand, fee-for-service means that residents pay only for services that they use. Keep this in mind when making your decision. If loved ones intend to take advantage of all of the services an assisted living community offers, it makes more financial sense to choose the all-inclusive option.
If your loved one is only going to need access to limited services or will have their own outside assistance for services, the fee-for-service option will ensure the most effective savings.
As we’ve already discussed, Medicare and Medicaid are limited in the assistance that they offer. However, if your senior is a veteran, there might be other options available to them. For example, financial assistance is available for veterans who choose to move into an assisted living facility.
This assistance comes in the form of a pension known as the Aid and Attendance Benefit. Beginning in 2019, this assistance programs like this help pay up to $1,881 a month. This is the amount for a single veteran.
The program will pay up to $2,230 a month for a veteran who is married. However, eligibility to get this help paying for senior care can be a bit complicated. There may also be a long wait time for getting approval.
Thankfully, lots of states have noticed that the cost of assisted living is actually much cheaper for seniors in the long run. That is, compared to sending them to a nursing home funded by Medicaid. The problem is, not all states offer the funding for such programs.
These programs all vary by state and offer different benefits, as well. The good thing is, all programs help to offset assisted living costs, regardless. This makes it easier and more affordable for your loved ones to move into an assisted living facility.
What Happens if You Can’t Afford Assisted Living?
If you have exhausted all of your available options and don’t know where else to turn, you might need to entertain the idea of getting an assisted living loan. If your home has equity in it, you can secure a loan for the cost of that equity and use it to pay for assisted living.
This reverse mortgage can give you the money you need now to cover your living expenses. But be aware that the interest rates and fees can get costly. So you need to make sure that there are no other options available to you before agreeing to this.
It’s better to check with family members, friends, private lenders, and other resources first if you absolutely need a loan.
Finding Appropriate Housing in Your Area
If you need assistance finding reputable, safe, and accommodating housing in your area, we encourage you to reach out to our team here at Mary T. Our specialists are happy to assist you in finding the most suitable room and board for you or your loved ones. We have various locations covering Minnesota, Maryland, Arizona, and Wisconsin.