Paying for Nursing Home Care


If your family has decided that putting your loved one in a nursing home is the best route for their wellbeing, it’s important that you come up with a plan to pay for their nursing home care. There are a variety of payment options to consider in order to find the right one for your family.

Take advantage of Medicare  

Although Medicare typically doesn’t cover the costs of long-term nursing home care, it can help cover some additional costs you may encounter, according to Medicare.gov. Medicare can help pay for medical supplies, doctor services and hospital care that your loved one may need while they’re living in the nursing home. David Levine, contributor to U.S. News & World Report, says that some beneficiaries can get limited Medicare coverage for a maximum of 100 days per each benefit period. Medicare can accordingly be helpful when paying for short-term stays in nursing homes.

Apply for Medicaid

Not to be confused with Medicare, Medicaid can help cover long-term nursing home care costs, depending on your loved one’s personal resources and income. According to Medicare.gov, Medicaid can cover health care costs if your family member has a tight budget, and most nursing homes can take Medicaid payments. Greg Daugherty, writing for Investopedia, says that your family member usually needs to have less than $2,000 worth of assets to qualify for Medicaid, though this amount can differ by state. If they have more than $2,000 in assets, they can give financial gifts to other family members in order to meet the eligibility threshold. However, Levine cautions that they must provide these gifts more than five years before applying for Medicaid or they could be disqualified.

Look for alternative payment methods

While the aforementioned payment options are more common ways to pay for a nursing home, there are alternative methods that may work for your family, depending on your circumstances. If your loved one is a veteran, they may be eligible for monthly payments through the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance program, according to Levine. These payments can then go towards nursing home costs. If you’re struggling to find an affordable nursing home near your family member’s residence, Levine says you may also want to look into relocating your loved one to another city or state.

Start saving early

In addition to helping your loved one get proper nursing home care, if you believe that you yourself may need to go into a nursing home later down the line, it’s wise to begin saving as early as possible. You may want to opt for long-term care insurance, which can cover a variety of services, according to Medicare.gov. Before picking an insurance policy, be sure to do some research about the facilities and services that each policy covers so that you can find the one that’s right for you. Medicare.gov also notes that another option is to pay for your nursing home care with your life insurance policy. Before going this route, check with your insurance provider to see if you are able to use their life insurance policy in this way.

There are a number of solutions that can help you pay for nursing home care, whether it’s needed in the next month or in several years. Speak with a financial advisor to learn which options are right for your family.

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