How to Pay for Nursing Home Care
There may come a time when you or someone you care for is no longer able to safely live alone and need to be placed in a nursing home. Good homes that provide quality care often come with a high price tag and finding money to pay for that later in life can be hard. Fortunately, there are some options available to help you pay for nursing home care.
Long-Term Care Insurance
One option that is available to those that are looking ahead and thinking on how they will pay for nursing home care is long-term care insurance. Long-term care insurance works differently than normal health insurance. It is designed specifically to cover the prices incurred from any sort of assisted living, be it in home, at an assisted living center, a skilled nursing facility, or some other form of elderly care.
It helps to reduce costs for anything considered to be activities of daily life, such as moving around, eating, dressing, bathing, etc. However, these policies are based on health rather than age, so in order for it to be cost effective one would need to apply before care is imminent to receive coverage. Also, it is worth considering that applicants for long-term care insurance will not qualify if they have a preexisting condition. Something such as being in a wheelchair, using oxygen, needing a walk aid such as crutches, having dementia, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, or heart or kidney problems often disqualifies someone from a long-term care insurance plan. The best way to see if you or a loved one qualifies as to contact an insurance provider.
Life Settlements for Nursing Home Care
Another option available to those considering how to pay for a nursing home is what is known as a life settlement. A life settlement is selling your life insurance policy to an investor. This is much more beneficial than simply letting your policy lapse and can net you three to four times as much as a simple cash out. The process is very straightforward, can be completed in as few as five steps, and takes about 90 to 120 days from submitting your application to payment. Afterwards you will no longer be liable for your premium payments. The main drawback to this is that you will no longer receive your death benefit, which will instead go to the investor.
To qualify for a life settlement typically the policy holder must be 65 years or older and have a life insurance policy with a death benefit worth at least $100,000. Qualification for a life settlement also depends on the type of life insurance policy you have, although most policies such as whole life and universal life are eligible. The payment received will depend on the value of your policy and would be your money, which means you can spend it on other expenses that may go along with elderly care.
A third option to consider when deciding how to pay for nursing home care is Medicare. Medicare is not to be confused with Medicaid, which is only available to those on very low income with very few assets. Medicaid, unlike Medicare, does cover long-term care in either a nursing home or at home. Medicare despite not covering long-term custodial care does, however, cover for short-term care following hospitalization. This coverage is a bit limited, typically the first 20 days in a skilled nursing home facility and then partial coverage until day 100. You qualify for Medicare coverage if you have had a three day or longer hospital stay up to 30 days prior to your need for care.
You also only qualify if you need everyday care as prescribed by your physician and are in an improving condition. These qualifications can vary based on whether you are enrolled in Medicare part A, which is standard, or have enrolled in part c, which can provide more robust coverage. The best way to determine what Medicare will cover for you is to familiarize yourself with your level of coverage and contact the hospital or nursing facility and ask for help. Ideally Medicare
A fourth option available to veterans looking for a way to pay for nursing home care could be VA benefits. To qualify for nursing care through veterans’ affairs you must have a service-connected disability rating of 70 or have a service-connected disability rating of 60 and be considered unemployable or “permanently or totally disabled.” You can also qualify if you are a veteran with service-connected disability that requires nursing home care.
Some veterans can also qualify on a case-by-case basis prioritized by service-connected disabilities. Veteran’s affairs can cover those that qualify for long-term care via their own nursing homes or private nursing homes if there are no nearby VA operated ones. They can also help veterans find care for mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. The VA benefit would still cost patients around $100 a day in copayments depending on the priority group and services required.
We can help!
Trying to find a way to pay for nursing home care can be difficult, especially if the need is urgent or sudden. However, most have an option to at least alleviate the out-of-pocket costs. The one most suited for those that are looking to plan ahead would be seeking a long-term care insurance policy. For those with a little more immediacy relying on either VA or Medicare and looking into a life settlement might be the best option.
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