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What options are available to help with elder care costs?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2022 | Elder Law |

Regardless of how independent someone has been historically, they may start to depend on family get members or caregiving professionals as they grow older.

Older adults are at increased risk of falling and getting hurt. They can be more susceptible to certain kinds of infections and infestations. If they have cognitive difficulties related to age or medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, they may struggle to maintain their own household.

Advance planning can help your family absorb the costs associated with either nursing home care or skilled support in the home if your loved one hopes to age in place. How can you potentially pay for elder care as you or your parents grow older?

Government insurance

Most adults over retirement age rely on Medicare and supplemental insurance coverage for their basic health care needs. Medicare will cover emergency treatment and even hospice care if someone is in the last months of their life.

However, typically will not pay for lengthy stays at rehabilitative facilities, nursing home care or the cost to bring nurses into someone’s home. Only Medicaid will cover those costs. Qualifying for Medicaid is not automatic, and applicants in Michigan will face scrutiny of years of financial records when they apply. Their remaining assets, including their homes, could be at risk of estate recovery efforts when they die without advanced planning.

Savings and long-term care insurance

Some people really have set enough aside for retirement to reasonably expect that they can cover their own nursing home costs. Some others may have bought into long-term care insurance policies when they were still young enough to make the monthly premiums on such coverage affordable.

Those close to retirement age who do not already have long-term care insurance or large savings accounts may realize too late that they do not have the protection necessary to pay for care later in life.

VA benefits

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does provide both medical care and residential support at VA facilities for veterans. Provided that you served in the armed forces and that you meet certain qualifications, VA benefits can help you get medical care that Medicare might not cover, including residential support.

While not every older adult will require long-term care, planning for such possible expenses is a smart move for every adult getting closer to retirement age. Addressing elder law concerns for yourself and your parents will make aging with dignity a more realistic prospect.