If you’ve spent any amount of time investigating the possibility of nursing home care for yourself or a loved one, then you know just how expensive it can be. Fortunately, there are many ways to get assistance with paying the costs of nursing home care.
Here is a quick overview of the most common ways people pay for care in a nursing home.
Long-term care insurance
Long-term care insurance can pay for many different types of long-term care, including nursing homes. Some policies cover other methods of long-term care, such as assisted living, adult day care and some forms of home care.
It’s important to choose a policy you think reflects your needs, and to make sure your policy covers the type of nursing home care you’re looking for. It’s also important to note that there are some long-term care policies that have limitations based on pre-existing conditions, so if you have such a condition, you should make sure it’s not going to be a hindrance with regard to getting the coverage you need.
Some retirees, members of the armed forces, federal employees and others are occasionally entitled to discounts on long-term care insurance, so investigate those possibilities if they are available to you.
Medicaid (known as MassHealth in Massachusetts)
While most people will at least start off their nursing home stays by paying out of pocket, eventually your available resources will decrease, at which point you may qualify for Medicaid. A common misconception is that you need to spend all of your money on Nursing Home expenses in order to qualify for MassHealth/Medicaid.
Medicaid is a state and federal joint assistance program that helps qualifying individuals pay medical costs. These individuals must have limited income and resources available to them if they are to qualify.
For Massachusetts residents most health care costs can be covered with MassHealth as long as you meet the qualifications for the program, and you’ll find that the majority of nursing homes (but not all of them) will accept payment via Medicaid. This means that even if you start by paying out of pocket, eventually you’ll have spent enough of your own money that you will reach the qualification requirements for Medicaid. It is advised that you learn your options for qualifying for MassHealth’s long term care benefits as soon as you or a loved one needs nursing home care- even when you do not think you will qualify.
In some cases, you may be eligible for MassHealth or Medicaid coverage in a nursing home even if you do not qualify for other uses of Medicaid services, so it’s always a good idea to look into the nursing home for Medicaid payments before making your selection and consult an elder care attorney as soon as possible.
Your own personal finances
You can always use your own savings to pay for nursing home care, and there are some insurance companies that allow you to use a life insurance policy to pay for long-term care. Your insurance provider will be able to tell you if this is an option available to you.
Learn Your Options to Pay for Nursing Home Care
To make a plan earlier rather than later and for more information about your options to pay for nursing home care for you or a loved one, contact an experienced estate and elder planning lawyer at Baker Law Group, P.C. with offices on the South Shore of Boston and Metro West Boston.