Financial Assistance for Senior Care: What Are Your Options?
It’s natural for people to need some support as they move through retirement. Supportive living communities like assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care can all provide essential services such as help with daily tasks. Unfortunately, they also come at a cost that’s difficult for most people to pay completely out of pocket.
Everyone deserves access to the support they need to enjoy their retirement. That’s where financial assistance for senior care comes in. Financial assistance is available from multiple sources, including federal, state and local programs. If you need help paying for care or supportive living, here are your best financial resources outside of your own savings, with special attention to local resources for New Jersey residents.
When it comes to getting financial assistance for senior care, most people believe Medicare is their best option. However, this is rarely the case. Though some supplemental policies can provide for some support, Original Medicare does not offer as much financial support as most expect.
Medicare does not pay for long-term care such as assisted living, memory care or similar options. It may, however, provide for some financial support in a nursing home setting (for short-term care) as well as hospice and home health care if you meet specific criteria.
In terms of home health care, you may get some financial support if your doctor states you need this type of care as a treatment for an illness or an injury, a treatment plan has been certified by the doctor and approved by Medicare and you are homebound or unable to leave the home without help. The amount and level of help depends on a variety of situations, but access to 24-hour care at home isn’t generally available. For many people, that means this is not the best option overall.
Medicaid is a type of financial tool that is available through state programs. It is often need-based, which means it may be based on your health but is more commonly based on your income. This is a type of insurance program for those with few resources, so you may not qualify, but if you do it can be more comprehensive than Medicare in what it covers, making it a good option. For example, Medicaid can help with financial assistance for assisted living and memory care. It may help with dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, care costs, as well. Medicare coverage may even assist with nursing home care, hospice care and personal care for those who need it.
Because Medicare is complex, determining if you meet various requirements can be confusing. For help determining if you qualify, New Jersey residents can use the Department of Human Services as a resource. The Department of Human Services provides more details on the state’s Medicaid program and who qualifies. Residents of other states can use similar agencies in their area for help.
Partnership for Long Term Care
While Medicare and Medicaid are federal programs, New Jersey residents have other, more localized options as well.
One of the supportive programs that may help you in New Jersey is the Partnership for Long Term Care. This program blends private long-term health insurance alongside any qualifying Medicaid coverage you have. It can offer you some benefits that may not be otherwise available, including in-home care and coverage for assisted living costs. Though private health insurance comes with a higher upfront, out-of-pocket expense, many people will find that this can help to reduce overall costs and limit the risk of being unable to access the care you need.
Program of All-Inclusive Care for Seniors
Often called PACE, this program is available to those who are ill and over the age of 55 who require medical and social services. PACE is designed to help those who need nursing home level care but cannot afford it otherwise. It is a local-based program, which means you will need to seek out the local services to find out if you qualify for it.
The Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly is available in New Jersey. It may help cover many costs including Alzheimer’s care cost and long-term care needs.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Another resource that may offer help to some is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. If you are or were a member of the Armed Forces, you may qualify for VA benefits. This may include a range of long-term care benefits such as at-home care, home health care, adult day care and some types of home-based skilled nursing.
The VA also helps provide financial support to those who need it in the form of nursing home care, but this is done by only approved locations. There are some private locations that contract with the VA, but this type of care is somewhat limited. Additional benefits, such as Aid and Attendance, may provide further financial assistance to veterans who served during wartime.
Long-Term Care Insurance
While financial assistance can help, it’s always best to plan for long-term care needs, including setting up a financial safety net for yourself or your relatives. One option that’s becoming increasingly more popular is long-term care insurance. Long-term care insurance is provided by private companies outside of the Medicare framework. You choose the coverage and the features of the policy.
Long-term care insurance is typically less expensive if you purchase a policy earlier, but there are always some costs associated with long-term care insurance. Exact prices and premiums vary. It is worth comparing a few options to find out what you can qualify for and fit into your budget. If nothing seems appropriate, you can also consider a life insurance policy that provides an option for long-term care support.
Finding the Support You Need for Care in New Jersey
If you are still looking for resources to help pay for any type of senior care, reach out to a location like Homestead at Hamilton. We provide levels of care ranging from independent living to memory care at affordable prices starting at just $2,800 per month. Our team will help you understand both our pricing structure and the different levels of care available to you so you can choose the right options for your needs, both in terms of support and in terms of finances.
Contact us today for more information on our community and to learn more about how we can help you find the support you need.