Finding the money to pay for the cost of Mom’s senior care is not always easy. Fortunately, there is financial help available for many people. Here are some tips to remember and ways that you can get assistance to pay for senior care.
Medicare Covers Short-Term Care
When all Americans turn 65, they are eligible for Medicare and can enroll without paying premiums. Medicare will cover the cost of short-term stays in rehabilitation centers or nursing homes after hospitalization or surgery. It will also pay for at-home rehab therapy for a doctor-prescribed amount of time. Medicare will not pay for assisted living, long-term care at a nursing home, residential care homes, or any other long-term care.
Medicaid Covers Long-Term Care
Medicaid is a government assistance program that pays for long-term care for some people. It works differently in each state, so you will need to research your state’s Medicaid program. In many states, Medicaid will help a senior pay for an assisted living community or other alternatives to a nursing home. In states like Alabama, the program PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly), covers all of a senior’s care and medical needs through one contracting agency. In order to be eligible for Medicaid, a senior must be considered low income or have a medical care expense that exceeds their income.
Getting Veterans Aid
VA benefits are based on income and eligibility. All people over the age of 65 who have served in the military for at least one day during the time of war qualify for VA benefits. Veterans must also be labeled as “totally disabled” in order to receive VA benefits. All wartime veterans over the age of 65 are automatically labeled “totally disabled”, thus making them eligible for VA benefits. Veterans must be enrolled in VA health care before they can receive benefits. VA benefits are available to veterans and their dependents. Veterans who need in-home care can obtain an Aid and Attendance pension of up to $25,000, depending on how many dependents the veteran has and on their annual income. Other types of long-term care benefits are also available for veterans through the VA. These types of benefits can be used to pay for in-home care or to cover the cost of an assisted living community.
Alternatives to Government-Assisted Options
If you are interested in options other than government-assisted programs, talk to a financial advisor in your area who specializes in senior care and assisted living. They can talk you through options and suggest different local places that can help you find the financial aid you are looking for.