As parents or other loved seniors age, they may need more frequent or more intensive care than they can manage themselves. Some families elect to move their parent into an in-person facility such as a nursing home, but there is usually a step in between where the senior remains in their home and receives extra help from the comfort of a familiar surrounding. The payment associated with this adds up, so keep reading to maximize savings and discover helpful aid programs.
Who Pays for Home Care?
Medicare is a government health program that covers some of the medical costs for people over sixty-five years old, anyone with late-stage kidney failure, and those who have received a Social Security Disability Income. The two main parts of Medicare are Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. An additional section is Medicare Part D, which is available for purchase if you quality for Medicare and require prescription drugs.
Medicare Part A, also known as Medicare Hospital Insurance, and Medicare Part B, or Medical Insurance, cover home services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology services, medical social services, part-time home health aide services, such as personal hands-on care, and injectable osteoporosis drugs for women. Neither parts pay for 24-hour care, meal delivery, or homemaker and personal care if that’s the only thing needed.
In order to qualify for Medicare, a person must be under the care of a doctor who is currently providing and regularly reviewing a plan of care, in need of intermittent skilled nursing care besides only drawing blood, certified by a doctor to be homebound, and in need of physical therapy, speech-language pathology, or continued occupational therapy services that are providing a tangible benefit and are treating a condition that’s expected to improve.
2. Medicaid, PACE, and SHIP
Not to be confused with Medicare, Medicaid is another governmental program combined on federal and state levels that’s specifically targeted to low-income families. Across the country, Medicaid is guaranteed to be available for low-income individuals, based on the MAGI calculation process, and disabled low-income seniors based on the SSI program. Additional availabilities are determined by the individual state, so visit the Medicaid website to learn more about your state.
The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, known as PACE, covers medical, social service, and long-term care costs for those in need who would have previously needed to go into a nursing home, as well as a portion or all of the costs for a person with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s only available in thirty-one states, not nationwide, so check first to see if your state offers PACE. There may be a monthly charge, depending on your circumstances.
SHIP, the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, is offered nationally and available in every state. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program helps individuals and their families navigate life on Medicare, Medicaid, and Medicare supplemental insurance through counseling and other assistance services. It aims to make accessing Medicare and Medicaid easier for those in need and to help their families look after the individual as well as themselves.
3. The VA, SSDI, and NCOA
If your family member or senior loved one is a veteran, defined typically as anyone who already receives veterans’ benefits, they may be eligible to receive benefits such as long-term and at-home care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In order to figure out if they qualify, you and your family member will need to apply together either by sending the documents through the mail to the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers or in-person.
Not all people in need of home services are seniors, and being under 65 doesn’t necessarily exempt a person from needing extra care. If this applies to your loved one, Social Security Disability Income, abbreviated as SSDI, is available for disabled people younger than sixty-five years old. In order to be eligible, a person must be able to show that they are unable to work, their condition will last at least a year, and the condition is expected to result in death.
While the other services are offered through the government, the National Council of Aging (NCOA) is a private organization that offers a service-finder known as the Benefits Checkup. It is free to use, and it can help you and your loved one find programs that provide assistance in your state that you otherwise might have missed. Benefit programs specifically helpful to those on home care include medications, health care, and housing & utility assistance, and more.
4. Private Payment Options
Besides government assistance and your individual funds, there are additional options for families caring for an aging senior can take. One such option is known as Long-Term Care Insurance, which covers palliative, hospice care, and more services that continue for an extended period of time. If you’re looking to keep your senior family member in their home, go for a comprehensive plan that covers both home care and facility care, instead of the nursing home-only package.
To raise additional funds to cover the care of your senior, you can work together with them to secure a reverse mortgage for seniors. This is a specific type of home loan that allows a homeowner to convert part of the ownership value of their house into cash. No medical or income requirements are necessary to get a reverse mortgage, only that the homeowner must be older than sixty-two.
Besides Long-Term Care Insurance, another insurance option you can explore is a life insurance policy that offers either assistance through the original life insurance or a combined life insurance and long-term care insurance coverage. Depending on your situation, you may also want to get a policy with an accelerated death benefit that provides tax-free cash advances while the person is still alive but subtracts it from the amount beneficiaries will receive.
5. Maximizing Care
With all the time, energy, and money you’re investing in getting home care for your senior, and more importantly your devotion to your loved one, all make sure that you want to get the very best home care possible. By keeping care in the family, you can ensure that you’re there every step of the way to look over and stay involved in that care of your loved one while letting caring and supportive specialists take care of the bulk of the work.
When looking for a provider for home care, it’s important to consider which organization has the specialized experience and programs that are in-tune to your loved one’s needs and desires such as home-based medical assessments, immediate and long-term support, and, most importantly, is a certified Licensed Home Care Services Agency with dependable and compassionate attendants that are sure to take care of your parent as a member of their own family.
Your parents have been there for you your whole life– it’s time to keep their love going and secure the ideal home service for them to remain in their familiar settings while receiving top-quality healthcare. Parent Care is the perfect option that offers financial services to ensure your loved one is cared for by well-trained professionals that treat them with understanding, patience, and love. Contact Parent Care today to learn more about their in-home care offerings!