How to Pay for Senior Living & Care
Every day, seniors and families all over the United States call our Family Service Center asking our advisors two basic questions. The first is “Can you help us find a community?" The second is “How do we pay for it?" At Elderlife, whether you need to pay for senior housing and care today, or are simply planning for a move for the future, we have financial solutions to solve your needs. Simply contact us or give us a call to learn about the many options available to you!
Affordable senior housing or care is possible and financial assistance is available. There are communities for just about any budget and any senior lifestyle or senior care payment need. Many senior financial solutions are private-pay. Some are paid for by a state, or our federal, government. The community you are choosing can often direct you to options they typically accept, both from private, as well as government, sources. Next time you are visiting your community, ask them if they offer and accept Elderlife’s Financial Solutions!
In general, families use a combination of the following to pay for senior housing or care:
- General Private Solutions:
- Private Funds
- Lines of Credit specifically for senior living or elder care and senior care loans
- Home Equity Loans for retirement and senior living
- Life Insurance / Life Settlement solutions
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- General Government Solutions:
- Veteran Benefits
Let’s start with your private funds. What do you earn on a monthly basis from social security, pension, and other income? Most independent living, assisted living, and Continuing Care Retirement Community fees are paid for privately. Skilled nursing communities often accept Medicare and Medicaid. Many seniors and families do not realize how much disposable income they have when they no longer have to pay for costs related to owning a house. Things like property taxes, insurance, home maintenance, yard maintenance, utilities, basic phone and cable – all these things add up. When you are looking for a senior living community, know that many of these costs will no longer need to be paid for out of your wallet and be sure to itemize what is included in a community’s basic monthly cost. By doing so, you may realize you have much more disposable income to contribute to your cost of senior living or senior care, than you originally thought. Thankfully, in addition to private funds, financial help and financial assistance for senior living is available through the options detailed below.
After taking the community costs and subtracting what you can pay out of your own private funds each month, you may face a funding gap you must cover somehow. An Elderlife loan or line of credit for senior living or elder care is especially helpful for families and seniors who must pay for the senior community of their choice today, while they work on selling a home or wait for benefits to arrive. Thousands of senior living communities accept this specially tailored senior line of credit or senior care loan option that carries many benefits specifically suited for seniors and families who are paying for senior housing and care. Such lines are unsecured, requiring no collateral. Just as we have a “home loan” a “car loan” a “student loan” and the like, a loan or line of credit for senior housing and elder care is tailor-made to help families arrange, document and pay, their monthly retirement or senior community costs. Often this option is also referred to as an elder care loan or senior care loan.
Most people mistakenly think that a reverse mortgage can help them pay for senior housing or care. Yet with reverse mortgages, one must typically be living in his or her home. So if you are moving out of your home and into a senior living community, a reverse mortgage may not be an option. Obtaining a loan against your home equity instead could help you obtain the funds you need to pay your retirement community entrance fees and monthly service fees. To learn how you could use your home equity to help pay for senior housing or care, just call Elderlife today!
Do you or your loved one have a life insurance policy? If so, the death benefit of your in-force policy could be converted into a benefit to pay for assisted living, skilled nursing care, or other senior housing. Life Settlements are the sale of an in-force life insurance policy to a third party for a sum typically much more than the cash surrender value, but typically a lot less than the face value. The funds you obtain from the sale of your policy can be used for any purpose, including senior housing or care. A “Life Assurance Benefit Program” converts your insurance policy’s death benefit into strictly a long-term care benefit, requiring that you use the funds to pay for senior housing and care.
Long-Term Care Insurance
If you or your loved one purchased a long-term care insurance policy years ago, now may be the time to file a claim. If you are caring for a loved one, you may not have even thought of asking them if they have such insurance. A long-term care insurance policy typically contributes a daily dollar amount to your senior care or senior housing provider for a specific period of time. For example, a policy may pay $100 a day. This insurance can typically pay for home care, assisted living, adult daycare, respite care, hospice care, nursing or Alzheimer’s community your loved one may be living in. If you or your loved one thought ahead and have such a policy, it’s time to dust it off the shelf and consider using it.
Are you, or is your loved one, a veteran? A spouse of a veteran? Veterans who were active at least 90 days where just 1 of those days was during a period of war, may be eligible for a benefit to help them pay for senior living that requires assistance with Activities of Daily Living (“ADLs”). Elderlife’s Veteran Solutions program can connect you to professionals accredited by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs who can help you obtain the information you need to obtain benefits you or your loved one deserves. Financial help for assisted living is available so call us today to learn if your veteran may qualify for these benefits.
Most everyone has heard of Medicare and Medicaid. And it is commonly assumed that both of those programs pay for all senior housing and senior care. Unfortunately, Medicare and Medicaid pay for very specific services for those with very specific need or eligibility requirements. Medicare pays for Medicare is a health insurance for the elderly and others in need and it has four parts: Part A, B, C, D. Medicare is complex and typically covers short-term care needs, not long-term senior housing and care. For more information on Medicare and what each part covers visit www.medicare.gov.
Medicaid is a federal-state partnership program that helps seniors and those in need pay for their long-term care needs. Medicaid varies by state and each state has its own set of requirements for eligibility. For information on your exact state’s available coverage, visit www.medicaid.gov.