Get help with finding long-term care - or skilled nursing - for your loved one in this four-part series. Find articles with tips on deciding if it’s needed, talking about it with your family members, what the costs will be, and how to find the right option for your loved one.
You’ve decided that your loved one would benefit from a move to long-term care, and they - and the rest of your family - are on board with it. Now comes the question you may have been avoiding: How much will it cost?
Skilled nursing costs range widely depending on the level of care needed, where you live, what services and amenities the community offers, and more.
According to Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey - the most recent and comprehensive report about long-term care costs - the median monthly cost for long-term care with a private room was $8,365.
The cost for monthly at-home care services (including a home health aide and homemaker services) were nearly the same, at $8,199.
What About Medicare and Medicaid?
If you’re planning to rely solely on Medicare or Medicaid to cover skilled nursing costs, you’ll likely need to rethink your approach.
Medicare Part A may cover a portion of costs for stays at a skilled nursing community for up to 100 days, and under some circumstances.
Rules for Medicaid coverage also vary depending on the state you live in, the community you choose, the services you’ll need, and other factors.
To understand what costs Medicare and Medicaid may cover for you, you’ll want to check with your skilled nursing community of choice. They can help you understand eligibility requirements and what you could expect to pay out of pocket.
What is Long-Term Care Insurance?
Long-term care insurance can help you cover the costs of skilled nursing. However, the policies can be pricey - with rates increasing for every year you wait to apply - and those with certain health problems may not qualify.
For people who are ready to move into long-term care immediately, long-term care insurance may not be the answer. Instead, you might want to explore some of the following options:
Veterans benefits: Those who served may qualify for an Aid and Attendance benefit, which in turn could cover skilled nursing costs.
Health savings accounts: If your loved one has an HSA, you may be able to withdraw money from it to pay for skilled nursing.
Pensions and Social Security: Depending on your needs and the amount your loved one receives each month, these sources of funding could help pay for long-term care.
Where Can I Get More Help?
At this point, it may seem like you have limited options, or you may be wondering how your loved one will afford the care they need.
Your best resources are your local Area Agency on Aging, the skilled nursing community you’re considering, or your financial adviser. They can help you better understand your payment options and what your costs will be.
Get your Guide to Otterbein’s SeniorLife Neighborhoods
The way nursing homes look and operate is changing. Our Otterbein SeniorLife Neighborhoods provide your loved one with the comforts of home alongside the care and compassion of professional skilled nursing staff who get to know our elders as a person, not a number.
To start learning more about Otterbein SeniorLife Neighborhoods and the benefits you’ll find there, download your free copy of the Small House...Big Difference guide.