Adults looking for care for aging parents face many strains, not the least of which may be whether or not they can afford to financially support their parents in assisted living arrangements.
According to Consumer Reports, the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment in a long-term care facility was $3,628 / month. There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that there is such a thing as long-term care insurance. The bad news is that, depending on your location and situation; Medicare may not cover long-term care costs.
Most elderly Arizona residents on a fixed income will be at least partially covered by the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS). The Older American Act and the Department of Veterans Affairs may also cover long-term care costs.
Here are some of the most common ways that people cover assisted living costs. Depending on what you qualify for, you may be able to use a combination of the options below.
Low-income individuals with little to no assets may qualify for Medicaid assistance, which varies from state to state. In some states, you may be put on a waiting list for this type of coverage. Arizona covers medical care for seniors over 65 through the ALTCS. It’s also worth noting that the government will look back over the past five years to see about your overall financial situation, so there’s no point in “hiding” assets or other funds in order to try to get more coverage.
Buying an annuity involves paying a large sum of money to an underwriter and then receiving payments back over a specified period. This can be a smart way to ensure that you keep some money aside and have consistent money coming in to cover the part of your assisted living that is not covered by insurance.
Medicaid does not consider an annuity an asset, even though the payments are considered income into the future. As with most financial arrangements, there can be some complicated elements to this, so be sure to check with a financial expert if you are considering this option.
Life Insurance & Long-Term Care Insurance
A few hybrid life insurance policies also cover long-term care costs. These policies can be beneficial in certain instances but are not necessary in every case. Long-Term Care Insurance is specifically for assisted living, so in most cases, it is accepted in assisted living facilities. The trouble is that the older you are, the more difficult it is to get.
Medicaid is only available to those in lower income brackets, so if you have assets such as property, you will need to utilize them before you qualify. Selling your home is a good idea, or you could consider a reverse mortgage to borrow money if you are not yet ready to sell the home.
If you are waiting to sell off your property, you may also qualify for smaller loans like bridge loans to help you get through the in-between period.
Insurance requirements can be complex. It’s a good idea to consult a Medicaid or geriatric planner to help you figure out your eligibility and specific needs and to do this as far in advance as possible. If you or your loved one have a lot of assets, you should also consult with an Eldercare Attorney.
For more details on long-term care insurance, contact the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.