Senior Care Costs

Finding the costs of senior care can lead to a confusing, twisted road.  However, the basic fact to know is that seniors in the U.S.A. must privately pay for long-term senior care.

Medicare will pay for up to 100 days in a nursing home, with the approval of a medical doctor and this usually qualifies after a hospital stay.

Because of this, many assume that Medicare pays for long-term care in a nursing home.

Medicaid, the health insurance for very low income seniors, does pay for long-term care in a nursing home.  A senior must qualify based on the state's Medicaid income and asset guidelines which usually are in the ball park of no more than $2,000 in assets and home ownership and car ownership can be exempt when there is a spouse as co-owner.

For effective senior planning, you will want to learn about the Medicaid financial qualifications in your state and also find the price for the daily rates of nursing homes in your area.  If you are able to stay in your own home, senior home care may be an option and you will also want to learn the costs and differences between hourly and live-in care.  Assisted Living communities offer services such as meals, housing upkeep and recreation but remember that one-on-one caregiving services are an additional cost.

Long-term care insurance does pay for nursing home care or senior home care but otherwise you must privately pay for senior care from your savings unless you have nearly no assets and little income and then you can qualify for Medicaid which pays for nursing home care.

Comments (2) -

  • Scott A Olson

    1/20/2011 4:19:51 PM | Reply

    Basic advice about long-term care insurance:

    Buy a policy that meets the federal guidelines-that's called a "tax-qualified policy."

    Buy a policy that meets your state's guidelines-that's called a "Partnership-qualified policy”

    Buy a Daily Benefit that is high enough to cover most of the cost of care in your area.  

    If home care is important to you, make sure the policy allows for all of the Daily Benefit to be used for care at home.

    Buy a policy that has a "Policy Limit" that is equal to the amount of your net worth that you want to protect for yourself, spouse, or heirs.  

    If you’re healthy, you should probably purchase a policy on your own, rather than through your employer.

    Choose an insurer that is rated “A” or higher by A.M. Best.

    Lastly, shop around.  LTC insurance premiums vary a lot from one company to the next.  Get quotes from at least 7 of the top companies before choosing your policy.

    Scott A. Olson

  • Plante & Moran

    2/4/2011 2:08:06 PM | Reply

    With baby boomers living longer now than ever the demand for quality care is going to increase. Will there be enough care at an affordable price? Owners of senior care facilities need to think about expanding and allowing for more amenities to satisfy the needs of people in the future. Aging adults need to speak with a professional that can help them understand everything that occurs with senior care.


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