As lifespans increase, more adults are caring for their parents and other aging family members for longer periods of time. Without years and years of financial planning and industry-specific knowledge, it’s easy to quickly deplete your savings in an attempt to care for your aging parents.
Did you know that it costs about $42,000 per year to pay for a one bedroom apartment in an assisted living community? More than that, a one bedroom in a skilled nursing facility often costs more than $87,600 per year.
Looking at these numbers, the majority of Americans would assume that they’ll bankrupt themselves simply paying these fees. Fortunately, there are more options available that are affordable—with the majority of their costs covered by Medicare.
Medicare does not pay for non-medical care, but it does pay for approved, in-home medical care. In other words, when treatment is medically necessary, Medicare will cover it, at least in part. They do not cover personal care that is provided during visits, like meal preparation and cleaning.
In specific geographic areas, there are some exceptions to the limited home care Medicare covers, which are known as the Medicare PANCE programs. These offerings cover all of a senior’s medical costs as well as some personal care costs. Any who’s eligible for Medicare or Medicaid can apply to receive these medical and social services at home.
If you’re wondering how you can afford in-home care, you’ll need to consult two sources. Funds for Medicare come from the federal government and the state you live in.
Although the federal government has a few specific guidelines, states have considerable flexibility in regards to the services they provide and cover. Within each state, there are many programs that offer different home care benefits.
Understanding your options and the differences between them can be a long and trying process. Many consumers are confused and overwhelmed when they begin to assess their options.
For these reasons and more, the Healthy Living Network works with families one-on-one to explain their choices and provide customized solutions. A lot of our business is home health care, so we can help you understand how your loved one can receive medical care in your/their home for little or no cost to you.
One wonderful thing about hospice is that a patient is admitted based on need—not on his or her ability to pay. To qualify, a patient does need to be under Medicare, entitled to Part A of Medicare and certified as terminally ill or given a prognosis of six months or less to live by a physician.
In order to determine your loved one’s eligibility, you can have a physician conduct a one-time, in-home visit that is covered by Medicare.
Although considering hospice care can be difficult, many families are relieved when they take the step. The support that comes with hospice is unmatched.
A skilled, compassionate team will quickly assemble to provide care, pain management and emotional/spiritual services to your loved one and your entire family. With this palliative care, the senior person can spend his or her final days in a pain-free, dignified state.
Once on hospice, Medicare covers everything related to a patient’s illness—except curative care. There are a variety of companies that offer hospice services, but only institutions that are Medicare approved are covered in full.
Another large benefit of hospice is respite care. If you need to rest, you can send your loved one to receive inpatient respite care in a Medicare-approved facility for up to five days. This benefit is offered more than once, as long as stays do not exceed five days and only take place occasionally.
If hospice care care isn’t 100 percent covered, your contribution is generally threefold. Although there’s no deductible and Medicare will pay for your hospice providers and care, you are responsible for two premiums, prescription copayments and respite care—if you elect to use this service.
For premiums, you must cover monthly Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Most beneficiaries 65-years-old and over don’t pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A.
As long as the beneficiary or their spouse paid Medicare taxes for ten years while they were working, this premium is waived. If someone and his or her spouse didn’t meet this requirement, they might be liable for a premium of up to $422 per month.
Medicare Part B premiums change each year and vary depending on personal situations. However, on average, Part B beneficiaries pay $109 per month.
On hospice, there is a copayment of up to $5 per outpatient prescription drug that is used for pain and symptom management. The third cost you may incur—if you choose to take advantage of the offering—is a charge for 5 percent of Medicare-approved inpatient respite care.
Most of the time, seniors and their families must pay out of pocket to receive home care. There are some instances where a patient can’t stay in his or her home with the affordable help home health and/or hospice offer, so they have to seek out home care offerings.
With the right financial planning and guidance, it’s possible for working families to keep their loved ones out of nursing facilities and at home with the help of paid home care. A seasoned financial advisor can provide the long-term financial planning you need to ensure that home care isn’t an overwhelming financial burden on your family.
The Bottom Line
Keeping your loved one at home can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. For the most part, home health and hospice care are covered by the federal government and available across the nation.
In the event your loved one needs home care, the right financial planning may make this level of support a monetarily viable opportunity for your family. With the right know-how and company, keeping your loved one at home to enjoy the end of their life is a very realistic and affordable option.