3 Ways of Paying for Nursing Home or Assisted Living Care
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities can be very expensive but there are ways to make your long-term care dollars stretch. There are three primary methods of paying for nursing homes or assisted living facilities:
1) Private-paying with one’s own dollars;
2) Using insurance that covers some or all of the cost of long-term care and
3) Need-Based Government Benefits, i.e. VA Benefits and the Medicaid program.
PRIVATE-PAYING FOR CARE often means total indigence. The cost of nursing homes in Southeast Florida range from about $5,000 to $12,000 per month. Assisted living facilities are about half the cost of nursing homes but still too much for many to pay without outliving their savings. Many people spend all of their savings in nursing homes and then have nothing left. Not a very good option!
LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE works for some but most people considering nursing home care do not have long-term care insurance and either cannot qualify for the policies or cannot afford the premiums. Long-term care insurance is therefore often not an option.
NEED BASED GOVERNMENT BENEFITS – This leaves Veteran’s Benefits and the Medicaid program. In Florida, Medicaid pays for almost all nursing homes including the finest of facilities (you sometimes need to know the tricks to getting in!) and Medicaid increasingly covers assisted living facilities as well. But in order to qualify for Medicaid, applicants must be below $2,000 in savings and below $2,094 in income (2012 figures). So few people are aware of the Veteran’s Benefit programs that can provide financial relief. Sunday November 18th’s Sun Sentinel published an excellent article by Ben Wolford. According to the article 187,900 Veteran’s reside in Florida but few know how to apply. Assisting clients with the application for Veteran’s Benefits is a significant part of our practice. For the entire article, click here http://tinyurl.com/d9dlbgq. To arrange a consultation with one of our elder law attorneys, call 561.733.4242.