Can I Afford Senior Living Care? Getting the Care You Need
If your loved one turned 65 in America today, they have almost a 70% chance of needing long-term care services of some kind in their lives. Many people are actively searching for independent or assisted living options. But before concerns about choosing the best senior living community and understanding the level of care your loved one needs comes one very particular worry: Can I even afford senior care?
If you’re concerned about being able to afford the care your loved ones need, you’re not alone. There are options available! At CarePatrol, our senior care advisors understand all the resources, options, and programs available to their clients. Here are some of the most common ways clients can pay for senior care, with a few frequently asked questions answered.
Does Insurance Cover Senior Care?
Often, the first question families ask is whether insurance helps cover the costs of assisted living. In some cases, it may, depending on the type of insurance your loved one has. While traditional policies are quite limited, you can leverage other types of coverage to help.
Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI)
Long-term care insurance is sometimes called senior care insurance or nursing home insurance. These policies go into effect when the person covered begins needing help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as:
- Bathing, showering, and using the toilet
- Dressing and grooming
- Standing up and sitting down
LTCI reimburses most services that your loved one will receive in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Generally, they would need to have a policy in place before age 75 to take advantage of this type of coverage.
Life Insurance Policies
If you or your loved one have been contributing to a life insurance policy for at least a decade, you can use that built-up value as a source of income. There are several options available when it comes to tapping a life insurance policy:
- Borrow from the policy as a loan
- Withdraw only what you paid in premiums (your cost basis)
- Cash the policy entirely
Speak to your financial advisor to determine the best option for your situation, including tax considerations.
What Other Resources Are Available to Pay for Senior Living?
For many families, additional insurance isn’t an option. Thankfully, there are other resources available for you to consider.
If your loved one served in the U.S. military, they and their surviving spouse may be eligible for additional pension benefits. Wartime veterans over the age of 65 who meet certain requirements can apply for an enhanced or special monthly pension to supplement their regular VA or Survivors Pension. The VA has two options for offsetting care expenses:
- The VA Aid and Attendance Benefit: paid to those who need help with activities of daily living from an assisted living facility
- Veteran Directed Care: a program for Veterans who need personal care services, which can come in the form of in-home care or independent living communities of their choosing
Home Equity Loans & Reverse Mortgages
If you have a home, but think you might sell in the next decade, you can take out a home equity loan or line of credit against it. There are no restrictions on what you can use your equity credit line to cover, which means it can help you pay for assisted living, independent living, or a nursing home—whichever option you need.
Reverse mortgages are another option for people over 62 who don’t foresee selling their home in the near future. They allow you to convert a portion of the equity you have in the home (up to 74% of the home’s value) to cash, which means no monthly payments.
Both of these options come with pros and cons. Be sure to shop around for the best credit terms that don’t leave you at risk of falling behind on your monthly payments or homeowners’ expenses.
Public Resources & Programs by State
There are additional options for funding senior care that vary by local community and state. While not every state has a non-Medicaid program for assisted or independent living, many do. These programs vary widely, but all help offset the costs of senior living care in some way, whether through cash assistance, benefit supplements, or reduced pricing that comes in under that of privately owned facilities. Explore programs by state to learn more about your options.
How Can a Senior Care Advisor Help?
A senior care advisor can help you shop for the best senior care options available in your area and inform you of financial assistance programs that your loved one may be eligible for. Your CarePatrol advisor can help you choose a living situation with flexible pricing structures, just the right amount of amenities, and the highest standard of care.
We insist on transparency with pricing and services so that you can plan without surprises. Let the trusted experts at CarePatrol help you navigate your options and find a senior living option that you can afford!
CarePatrol: Assisted Living & Nursing Home Placement Services
CarePatrol is a proud member of the Best Life Brands family, dedicated to helping you choose the right senior care option for your loved one. From providing full care details to community tours to benefit program recommendations and beyond, we’re always there to take the pressure off you so you can focus on the person you love.