As people age, the possibility of requiring nursing home care becomes likely. While it’s a difficult decision to make, it’s essential to be prepared both emotionally and financially. One of the primary concerns for seniors and their families is the cost of nursing home care, which can be very expensive.
But, by learning about these options and assessing them, you may be able to make a nursing home more affordable, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to make informed decisions about your care. With an online search, you can find the many local nursing homes, and countless ways to save right now.
Using Your Medicare Coverage for Short-Term Stays
Medicare is an essential part of healthcare for seniors. If you need to stay in a nursing home for a short-term stay, you may be able to get that stay covered through Medicare. According to Medicare.gov, Medicare offers limited coverage for nursing home stays. However, it will only cover skilled nursing care expenses, and only under certain situations.
You’ll need to be a Medicare Part A subscriber, have a qualifying hospital stay, have a doctor decide that you need daily skilled care from nursing or therapy staff, stay in a Medicare-certified skilled nursing facility, and need this type of care due to a medical condition that required a hospital stay or that was hospital-related.
Applying for Medicaid
If you’re a senior living on a very limited income, Medicaid may be an option for your nursing home needs. Medicaid is designed for low-income individuals and is available at both the state and federal levels. According to PayingForSeniorCare.com, Medicaid is the largest single-payer when it comes to nursing home care.
You may be able to take advantage of this if you qualify for Medicaid. You’ll need to apply and have your income and financial assets assessed. However, if you meet Medicaid requirements, 100% of your nursing home costs could be covered at a Medicaid-approved facility.
Using Your Veterans’ Benefits
If you served in the U.S. military and qualify for veterans’ benefits, you can turn to the Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) to get help with nursing home costs. The VA can provide long-term care services, particularly for any veterans who have service-related disabilities or injuries.
You’ll need to receive your care at specific facilities or from certain VA-approved providers, but you can get financial assistance by doing so. PayingForSeniorCare.com reports that veterans and their surviving spouses have two options to consider: The Aid and Attendance Benefit (or the Improved Pension) or State VA Nursing Homes.
Considering Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is not something that people commonly carry. However, for seniors, it can be very beneficial. If you carry long-term care insurance, you’ll be protected in the event you need to move into a nursing home. You’ll pay a monthly premium for the coverage, and the insurance will then protect you should you need long-term care.
There is usually a triggering event that causes your insurance to kick in. This is often a serious health episode, like a broken hip or stroke, that leads to you needing long-term care. Once this happens, your long-term care insurance will begin sending you insurance payouts. You can use these payouts to cover any care costs, like nursing home fees or at-home care.
Don’t Give Up!
While nursing home care can be expensive, there are options available to help make it more affordable. Whether it’s utilizing Medicare for short-term stays, applying for Medicaid, taking advantage of veterans’ benefits, or considering long-term care insurance, it’s important to do your research ahead of time and see which options will work best for you.
By taking advantage of these programs, you may be able to reduce the financial burden of nursing home care, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus on what’s most important – your health and well-being.