By: Paul Lorah
70% of all seniors will need long term care. 25% of those will require long term care for more than 5 years. Is your family prepared?
The cost of long term care rises drastically each year, what's the average?
- Skilled nursing homes average more than $10,000 per month;
- Assisted living, more than $6,000 per month;
- At home care, more than $4,000 per month.
How to pay for long term care
The options are;
- Pay from personal or family funds such as savings, investments, etc. - this may work for some but for most families this option won't last very long.
- Reverse mortgage - if the long term care recipient owns a home, a reverse mortgage may be an option, however, they come with very high closing costs, you may no longer be able to pass your home to your family and they are available to those over 65 only. They also have many other restrictions and clauses that affect anyone living in the home who is under 65. Do your homework before choosing this method.
- Long term care insurance - this is an option, however, it is our least favorite because the policies are very limited as to what they pay, how long they pay and the premiums, if you can get approved, are very high and will increase drastically each year.
- Life insurance - life insurance can come with a long term care rider that will allow the policy owner to use the death benefit to pay for long term care costs.
- Medicare - contrary to popular belief, Medicare will not pay for long term care except for skilled, short-term, medically necessary care and only then for up to 20 days in full and only following a qualifying hospital stay. [days 21-100 a co-pay of $137.20 per day will be due, after day 100, all costs are billed to the family].
- VA Benefits - if you are a veteran and qualify, you can obtain up to $1,780 per month as an individual, $2,125 as a married couple or up to $1,180 as a widow or widower of a veteran. The process is very complex , have a specialist assist you to get the full benefits allowed. These benefits work great for individuals needing at home care or even assisted living care because it will help subsidize the costs, it may not pay all of them but it will help.
- Medicaid - Medicaid is the only government benefits program that will pay the entire cost of your long term care once approved. It's a difficult process so have a specialist assist you. You don't have to spend all of your money and be destitute to qualify either as most people will have you believe. You can qualify and preserve assets as well.
Author Paul Lorah is a Medicaid and Long Term Care Planning expert who has authored such books as "Planning and Paying for Long Term Care' and "How to Get Medicaid to Pay for Your Long Term Care Costs".
Regardless of whether you are 5-8 years out from needing care or you need care now, contact us for expert advice on what options are available to you based on your needs, goals and financial situation. 855.471.6771