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Paying for Home Care

One of the most affordable senior-care options is in-home care. Even so, adding any payment to your budget can be stressful. Most of us are watching every dollar these days.

Fortunately, there are quite a few options for paying for home care you may not have thought of. People have gotten creative with funding, and there are more choices than just savings and long-term care insurance.

The one thing you probably can’t use that you may have been counting on is Medicare. The tasks our caregivers perform are different than those Medicare usually provides. In fact, people are often surprised to learn that Medicare doesn’t pay for much long-term care of any kind. But there are benefits that do.

Here are some of the options for paying for home care. This is a basic rundown to give you an idea of what’s out there. For more details and to learn the pros and cons of each in your situation, please speak to a financial planner.

Insurance

  • Private health insurance, which will sometimes pay for a certain amount of home care.
  • Disability insurance.
  • Auto insurance.
  • Life insurance—cashing it in or borrowing against it.
  • Life settlement, an arrangement in which a third party buys your life-insurance policy and then gets the benefits when you die. (Be sure to do your homework first on the down sides.)
  • Viatical settlement—like a life settlement except it’s meant for people with a terminal illness.
  • Accelerated death benefit: The life insurance company gives you some money before you die rather than paying it all out after.
  • Long-term care insurance.

Retirement Benefits

  • Work-related salary/benefits.
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs).
  • Employee-funded retirement plans [401(k), 403(b)].
  • Annuities.

Personal Savings and Assets

  • Stocks.
  • Bonds.
  • Savings accounts.
  • Real estate / reverse mortgage. With a reverse mortgage, you get money back based partly on what your house is worth. Reverse mortgages have pros and cons, so be sure you understand the details before signing.
  • Personal property.

Government Assistance

  • Medicaid waiver (Home and Community-Based Services / HCBS). In-home care can be cheaper for states than facility care, so some are offering this option.
  • Cash & Counseling, another Medicaid program. You get money to use for the care you want. Only a few states offer this. You can check into yours through the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services.
  • Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a Medicaid/Medicare program that even people who don’t qualify for Medicaid can use. Participants must need nursing-home level care. Check for PACE in your area through the National PACE Association.
  • Veterans Benefits. Many veterans and surviving spouses and children qualify for a little-known benefit called Aid and Attendance. If you don’t qualify for that, look into other levels of the Improved Pension, which has fewer requirements.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is income-based, or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is based on how long you’ve worked and paid Social Security taxes. Visit the Social Security website for more information.

At Preferred Care at Home, we’ll help you think through these options so you can feel confident paying for home care, knowing that you’re secure in your finances and secure in your home. Just give us a call. We’ll be here when you need us.

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