Paying for Long-Term Care
The price tag attached to long-term care can be high—especially when care needs extend over a long period of time. Most of all, it is important to be aware of the cost of long-term care and to consider in advance how to cover that cost.
Click here to obtain a rough calculation on how much you might need for long-term care.
Paying for these services can be challenging: private health insurance and disability policies do not cover the majority of long-term care services and government benefits are extremely limited. If they do cover long-term care, it is typically limited to skilled, short-term, medically necessary care.
Congress is weighing proposals to address the cost of long-term services and supports, including a proposal to create a national long-term care insurance program.
Long-term care costs vary based on a number of factors, including the geographic area in which a person lives, the type of setting in which care is provided—for example, home or long-term care residence, the extent of required care and the time period in which care is necessary.
According to a 2011 survey by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, the MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs, the average costs for various long-term care services in the United States are:
Click here to find out the average cost of care in a specific area.
So how can someone pay for this care? People pay for long-term care in a variety of ways, including:
When these conditions are met:
In contrast, Medicare does not cover the costs of care in assisted living facilities. In the home setting, Medicare does not cover homemaker services in the home setting; it only covers home health aides in the home for personal care related to the treatment of an illness or injury if the person is homebound and is receiving skilled care such as nursing or therapy; benefits are for a limited amount of care in any week.
To qualify for Medicaid, applicants must meet federal and state guidelines for income and assets. Many people start paying for nursing home care out of their own funds and “spend down” their income until they are eligible for Medicaid. Some assets and income can be protected for a spouse who remains at home. In addition, some states have long-term care insurance partnership programs that help individuals with insurance coverage protect assets to meet Medicaid eligibility.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Like other types of insurance, this is a protection plan for “what if” and reaping the benefits of paying annual premiums may or may not happen; someone may buy long-term care insurance and never need the coverage, while another person may find it worth every premium paid.
For more information about long-term care, connect with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s licensed social workers. Click here or call 866.AFA.8484. Real People. Real Care.
Alzheimer's Foundation of America 866.AFA.8484