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Paying for Assisted Living

The cost of long-term care depends on what type you choose. For instance, a full-service nursing home may charge $7,000 per month or more for a private room. Assisted living is typically more affordable, with costs averaging $3,500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.

With everything you get—including three meals a day and housekeeping services—assisted living may be more affordable than you think, especially if aging in place involves hiring in-home care and paying for food delivery. But you still need a way to pay for the care you need.

Make sure you’re taking advantage of all the funds available to you by following this guide on paying for assisted living.

Income, Savings & Family Help: It May Not Be Enough

Paying for care with your family’s pooled resources is the most straightforward route. However, the exorbitant costs associated with long-term care make it impossible for many seniors to live in a nursing home or assisted living facility on their income and savings alone, even if friends and relatives pitch in.

Sell or Rent Your Home: A Solid Income Generator

Many seniors sell their home to fund their assisted living care. If this isn’t ideal for you, consider renting out the house. This keeps it in the family but generates income you can use to pay for long-term care.

Medicare: Limited Coverage

When many people think of health care after age 65, they think of Medicare. However, this insurance option doesn’t cover the cost of living in a long-term care facility. It may pay for short-term care or rehabilitation following an injury, illness, or surgery, but when it comes to paying for assisted living, Medicare is very limited.

Medicaid: An Excellent Resource

Medicaid is a health care program jointly funded by federal and state governments. Individuals of all ages who have limited income and assets may qualify. Medicaid for seniors and the disabled is a special program designed specifically to help pay for assisted living, nursing homes, and community-based care. This is an excellent resource for easing financial burdens in your golden years.

Long-Term Care Insurance: Requires Planning Ahead

In most cases, long-term care insurance covers the cost of assisted living. However, once you become a senior, purchasing this coverage is prohibitively expensive. You must buy a policy in middle-age or before, something only 3 percent of Americans do.

Veterans’ Benefits: Great for Eligible Veterans

If you or your spouse served in the military during wartime, you could be eligible for assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs, including the Veterans Administration’s Aid and Attendance. Some assisted living facilities even cater specifically to senior veterans and their families.

Investment-Based Options: A Risky Plan B

The options for funding assisted living outlined above largely involve government funds that ensure you receive a certain amount of money each month. Investment-based options—such as selling your life insurance policy, using a reverse mortgage, investing in annuities, or taking out a bridge loan—are riskier because there’s no guarantee. Only consider these options if your other funds aren’t enough.

Determine Your Medicaid Eligibility

Senior Planning Services is here to simplify the Medicaid application process. We’ll help you determine your eligibility, guide you through the spend-down process, and help you utilize excludable assets. Medicaid could be a valuable resource to help you pay for assisted living, and it all starts with a free consultation.

To learn more about how Senior Planning Services can help you qualify for and maximize your Medicaid benefits, please contact us today. We have offices in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and we offer assistance across the U.S.