Before deciding to make the transition into memory care, it is important to figure out what everything is going to cost and be aware of expenditures before going on in. Money can sometimes serve to be a big obstacle when it comes to moving to any kind of senior care facility. However, when you’re considering coming to dementia memory care in San Diego, we have some advice that can help you get started.
Personal Funds / Out of Pocket Expenses
For many seniors, they worry that they will have to pay for senior living expenses out of pocket. This includes selling their home, digging up personal savings, cashing in stocks and bonds, or using up their retirement fund.
Truth be told, much of home-based care can be paid for and is usually covered out of pocket. There are ways to save money along the way when utilizing at-home care, such as opting to do all of your senior’s transportation yourself, or providing basic care items yourself. However, as your senior’s needs increase, so will the cost of their care.
When it comes time to move to a senior living facility, typically, a lot of these expenses are paid through retirement savings and the like. However, some states offer government programs to help pay for costs for those who financially or medically need it.
There are several government programs out there that can help to pay for your senior’s time in assisted living or memory care. The internet is a great tool for searching for such programs in your area, or talking to a staff member at the senior care facility you are looking at. Be sure to ask a lot of questions, as they are there to help!
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
The CMS, or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, offer several different programs. Over time, the eligibility requirements and program outline can change while benefits typically differ from state to state. Check the CMS website for more information.
Many people ask the question, well, what about Medicare? Won’t it cover costs? While these are valid questions, there are some things to be aware of.
First of all, Medicare is a Federal Government health insurance program that pays some medical costs for people who are age 65 and older, as well as for all people with late-stage kidney failure. It can also pay for some medical costs for those who have gotten Social Security Disability Income for 24 months. It does not, however, cover on-going personal care, assisted living, or a retirement community.
- Medicare Part A:
– Hospital costs you pay after a certain amount, or better known as the ‘deductible’.
– Brief stays in a nursing home to get care for a medical condition.
– Hospice care for the last six months of life.
- Medicare Part B:
– Covers a part of the cost of doctor’s services, outpatient care, and a few other expenditures that Part A does not cover.
– Penetrative services such as flu shots or diabetic screenings.
- Medicare Part D:
– Covers some expenses for medications.
For more information, visit the Medicare website.
Though their names sound similar and some people mix them up and confuse them for the same program, Medicare and Medicaid are two different entities. Medicaid is a program that combines state and federal dollars and is available to low-income families. Typically, this program helps to cover medical expenses and sometimes, even long-term care for those who are eligible. As a reminder, eligibility does vary from state to state.
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
While it is not available everywhere, some states offer PACE, or Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, and is Medicare program designed to assist with medical, social services, and long-term care costs for those who are frail or have certain medical conditions. If your senior loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, PACE might be able to assist with paying for their care expenses.
Most people who qualify continue to live at home instead of a long-term care facility. However, you will need to find out if your loved one qualifies for PACE, and if your state offers such a program.
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
If you’re needing some assistance with navigating through the complexities of health insurance, you are not alone! SHIP, or the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, is here to help. They have counselors available to help Medicare, Medicaid, and Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap) matters. Head over to their website to talk to a SHIP counselor in your area.
Department of Veterans Affairs
If your senior loved one served in the United States military, odds are good that qualify for veterans’ benefits. The US Department of Veterans Affairs, or better known as the ‘VA’, may be able to provide long-term care for your senior loved one, either at home or in a senior living facility. Double check by calling your local VA center and discussing for more information.
Private Financing Options for Long-Term Care
If your senior does not qualify for government programs, there are of course other options available, such as private financing. This can take the form of long-term care insurance, reverse mortgages, certain life insurance policies, etc. Which one is better for you depends on a variety of factors, including age, health conditions, personal finances, and the type of care that is needed.
- Long-Term Care Insurance: This can cover several types of long-term care and benefits, including hospice care. However, the exact coverage just depends on the type of policy you purchase and what is outlined in that policy. For example, did you buy a nursing-home only coverage or a comprehensive policy? Ask these questions before signing.
- Reverse Mortgage: There is a lot of misinformation about what a reverse mortgage is. According to the NIA website, it is a special type of home loan that lets a homeowner convert part of the ownership value in his or her home into cash. However, unlike a traditional loan, no repayment is required until the borrower sells the home, no longer uses it as a main residence, or passes away.
- Life Insurance Policies for Long-Term Care: Did you know that some life insurance policies can be used to help pay for long-term care? Call your life insurance provider to see what you purchased and discuss if your plan is eligible to help pay for your dementia memory care in San Diego.
No person is one size fits all. Take the time to research which option works best for you and make sure you ask questions and stay informed every step of the way.