According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most retirees will eventually need at least some assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). Once they need help with ADLs like bathing, cooking, and dressing, long-term care options for older adults include those provided in the comfort of their own home. For the average senior on a fixed income, budgeting for a professional caregiver takes a little financial creativity. As a potential recipient or concerned family member, here’s how to financially plan ahead for paying for home care.
How Much Does In-Home Care Cost?
As retirees live longer, many run the risk of outliving their savings. According to Genworth’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the median national cost for one month of in-home care provided by a home health aide is $4,576. Although both figures vary by geographic location, seniors who benefit from homemaker services can expect to pay roughly $4,481 per month.
Does Medicare help with paying for home care?
If you think that Medicare insurance will cover professional home care, think again. Medicare will only pay for home health care, physical therapy, a nursing home stay, long-term care hospital stay, or related skilled nursing care services for a maximum of 20 days. Medicare does not cover personal care, private duty care, custodial care, homemaker services, 24-hour care, or meal delivery services.
Options for Paying Home Care Costs
Since Medicare won’t pay for home care, here are some creative ways to finance professional caregiving services:
Long-term care insurance
Long-term care (LTC) insurance may cover all or part of the services, with premiums that vary depending on age, gender, health, geographic location, and more. A hybrid long-term care policy is another option, which is a policy that is part life insurance or an annuity and part long-term care coverage. You can learn about the different LTC insurance policy types and their estimated premiums through the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.
At first, many older adults pay for care in part with their own money. They may use personal savings, a pension, retirement fund, or income derived from stocks, bonds, or proceeds from the sale of a home.
Additionally, informal caregivers that include family and friends often provide free personal care and related services, like meals, transportation, and housekeeping. To remain in their homes, many seniors also pay out-of-pocket to take advantage of adult day care programs, meal delivery programs, and other community-based services.
Some older adults are eligible to receive government healthcare benefits that pay at least some of the expenses associated with professional caregivers. Federal and state programs that may help with nonmedical, healthcare-related costs incurred at home include:
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Medicaid (Once eligibility requirements have been met)
- Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
- Department of Veterans Affairs (Some veterans and survivors are eligible)
- Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
National Council on Aging (NCOA)
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a private organization that offers a free service called BenefitsCheckUp®. This service can help you find state and federal benefit programs that pay for heating bills, housing, meal programs, and prescription drug programs for seniors.
Private financing options
In addition to those listed above, many seniors turn to private payment options to cover home care costs that include reverse mortgages, specific life insurance policies, trusts, and annuities.
When your or your loved one’s care weighs in the balance, choosing the best payment option depends on many factors, including your loved one’s age, health status, household finances, and level of care that’s needed.
Personalized In-Home Care for Seniors
When you or your loved one need assistance, contact us. We are a fully licensed and insured home care provider with highly trained professionals who are experts at delivering the nurturing that your loved one deserves. While serving as an extended family in your senior’s home, our compassionate caregivers can perform duties like light housekeeping, personal care, dementia care, companionship care, medication reminders, and even live-in and 24-hour care.
Our agency’s focus is maintaining your loved one’s quality of life, along with their dignity, self-esteem, and independence. For your added convenience, all our in-home services can be individually personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! Please visit us online now to learn more about us or schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in our service area.