According to a recent article from the American Advisors Group (AAG), most Americans aged 65+ want to remain in their current home for as long as possible. Although that’s an admirable goal, the average independent senior eventually needs at least some assistance around the house to perform activities of daily living (ADLs). When hiring a professional in-home caregiver becomes necessary, families often face tough decisions about paying for their loved one’s care. These creative financing ideas will help ensure that your loved one gets the care they deserve.
The Rising Cost of Senior In-Home Care
As retirees live longer, many run the risk of outliving their savings. According to Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, the monthly median cost for in-home care provided by a home health aide is $5,148. Seniors and families who rely on homemaker services can expect to pay an average of $4,957 per month. Although those figures vary by state, the cost of senior home care across the US is rising more than five percent annually.
Does Medicare cover professional home care?
Contrary to what you might think, Medicare insurance does not pay for non-medical home care services. 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. Personal care, private duty care, custodial care, homemaker services, 24-hour care, and meal delivery services are not covered by traditional Medicare. However, you may want to check out Medicare Advantage but you still may encounter some difficulties there.
How to Pay for Your Loved One’s Home Care
Since Medicare may not be a payment option, here are some creative ways to finance professional caregiving services:
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.
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.
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 loved one’s care weighs in the balance, choosing the best payment option for your family depends on many factors, including their age, health status, household finances, and level of care that’s needed.
Flexible In-Home Care Options 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 on 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.