Posted: March 30, 2022
After careful thought and consideration, you and your family have arrived at the decision that maybe it’s time to move your loved one into an assisted living community where they can thrive in a nurturing and safe environment. You may think that this option is out of reach but think again, for older adults who require assistance with their activities of daily living an assisted living community may be an affordable option. Although many families use private funds such as personal savings, social security or pension payments to pay for their loved ones assisted living accommodations, there are other options out there to help make assisted living more affordable.
One method of making assisted living more affordable is a long-term care insurance policy, also known as nursing home or senior care insurance. This type of policy is purchased through private insurance and is intended to cover the costs of care for older adults such as assisted living costs. This policy works similar to home or car insurance where you pay premiums for as long as the policy is in effect and make claims if you need to use the covered services. Just like car and home insurance, different plans have different coverage, so make sure you know what your plan will and will not cover.
While Medicare does not cover assisted living costs, Medicaid does cover some portion of expenses for assisted living in many states if your income is below a certain level. According to AssistedLiving.org, “If assisted living services aren’t covered by a state’s standard Medicaid program, there may be a Medicaid waiver program that does.” It is important to note that Medicaid benefits vary by state, and you should research what the state you reside in offers in terms of assistance. There are a variety of factors that come into play when it comes to how much Medicaid will pay towards the cost of assisted living such as financial criteria and functional need. The American Council on Aging compiled more information on state specific Medicaid eligibility requirements you can review on their website.
Veteran’s and their spouses may qualify for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For those that qualify, the VA Aid and Attendance benefits will help pay for assisted living and offset long-term care costs. The Aid and Attendance benefit is an often-overlooked benefit but it provides a monthly, needs-based payment above the pension a veteran is already receiving. This program is designed for veterans who require assistance in completing the activities of daily living. Eligibility varies, contact your local Veteran Affairs office to help determine if you or your loved one qualifies for this benefit.
Older adults who have life insurance policies can also opt to cash out their policy early to help pay for long-term care. Some policies have what is referred to as an accelerated death benefit (ABD) that allows the policyholder to receive a tax-free advance on their insurance benefit. This will reduce the amount paid out to their families upon death, but it may be another option to help pay for assisted living expenses. Some policies do limit the benefit amount and typically this does not amount to the full policy death benefit so be sure to look into your policy when you weigh your options to make sure this is the right choice for your situation.
Living in an assisted living community may be more affordable than you thought. Consider that some assisted living communities such as Dayspring Villa are all inclusive. Not only are accommodations included but also included are the cost of meals, housekeeping, assistance with activities of daily living, and transportation for shopping and other outings. If you consider the individual cost of food, electricity and a nurse or care provider to help you or your loved one with activities of daily living, the costs can quickly add up to as much or more than an assisted living community in some cases.
Not only is the financial aspect important to think about, but the social benefits of living in an assisted living community are important to take into account as well. Residents of Dayspring Villa not only enjoy a robust events calendar, but through the Rhythms Life Enrichment program they enjoy daily programming that honors each person as a unique individual. Life Shines Brighter at Dayspring Villa, where we offer all the amenities of apartment living and the extra support needed to enjoy life to its fullest. Have questions or ready to schedule an in-person tour, please contact us and we will be happy to help!