Thursday, February 27, 2014

Assisted Living Finance

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living and Senior Living Care

Several government subsidies are available to fund senior housing. However, the reality is that these amounts are limited and will impose restrictions on what care you receive and where you receive it.
§                         Medicare: Neither Medicare Parts A nor B offer coverage for comprehensive ongoing long-term care. Medicare A (hospital insurance) may cover costs for a semiprivate room, meals, nursing and rehab services, medications, and medical supplies in a skilled nursing facility for the first 100 days after being released from hospitalization for an acute illness or injury. The first 20 days are covered at 80 percent, with the rest of that time period covered at decreasing rates. It never covers a private room nor services in an assisted living residence. Medicare B only offers reimbursement for covered services you receive from a doctor. 

Ask Medicare is designed to support and assist caregivers. Ask Medicareoffers a wide range of helpful information for the nearly 66 million Americans who provide help to an aging, seriously ill, or disabled family member or friend. Ask Medicare offers tools that helps caregivers and those they care for make informed health decisions. 
§                         Medicaid: Medicaid, which provides federal health-care assistance to low-income Americans, is the biggest payer for room, board, nursing care, and social activities in nursing homes. Many, but not all, states now cover some assisted living services under their Medicaid programs; however, these fluctuate widely in terms of eligibility requirements, and dollar amounts of coverage. The Senior Assisted Housing Waiver provides eligible low-income adults a choice of receiving senior living care services in a community-based setting rather than in a nursing facility. Bear in mind that faced with budget deficits for years to come, states are more likely to cut, rather than expand, these programs. 
§                         Housing and Veterans Subsidies: Seniors with annual incomes under $12,000 may qualify for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 202 and Section 8 senior housing, which provide rent subsidies that can help pay for the room-and-board portion of both independent living and assisted living environments. The Department of Veterans Affairs also provides some skilled and intermediate-level care to veterans in its own residences, depending on space availability. 
§                         For more information on benefits, visit Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents or check out the VA's benefits fact sheets. 
§                         Life Care Funding Group (LCFG) assists people in need of funds to cover the costs of senior housing and long term care. LCFG specializes in converting the death benefit of an in-force life insurance policy into a long term care benefit to cover the costs of skilled nursing home care, assisted living, home health care, and hospice.
  Additional Resources and Advice for Financing Senior Living:

§                         Center for Long-Term Care Financing
§                         AARP
§                         National Association of Insurance Commissioners
§                         America's Health Insurance Plans

Senior Living Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is perhaps the best way to ensure you can afford to pay privately to receive the most choice in housing environment possible from your provider of choice, whether it's independent living, assisted living, or another housing option. Experts suggest consumers should be looking at long-term care insurance at 40 and own it by age 50. When choosing an insurance provider, consider the following tips:
§                         As with any insurance, read the fine print on the policy and ask questions.
§                         Compare at least three different insurers.
§                         Verify each company's financial strength through independent rating systems such as AM Best.
§                         Review the company's rate history for stability.
§                         Check to see if the policy is tax-qualified, in which case premiums may be deducted under medical expenses if you itemize your deductions.
§                         Select an inflation-protected policy to ensure sufficient coverage when you file your first claim years from now.