For one reason or another, most aging adults eventually require at least some assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) to remain independent. Once they need help with activities like bathing, cooking, and dressing, more seniors than ever before are choosing home care over other long-term care options. But for the average retiree on a fixed income, paying for professional in-home care presents unique budgeting challenges. As a future recipient or concerned family member, here are some creative ways to pay for in-home elder care services.
How Much Does Home Care Cost?
Paying for senior home care is hard for most families because it’s an additional household expense to include in their budget. According to the most recent Cost of Care Survey from Genworth, the median monthly cost of homemaker services is $4,957.
Home health aide (HHA) services average around $5,148 per month, although both figures vary depending on geographic location. No matter where they live, hiring an in-home caregiver is a stark reality for many working families who want to keep their aging loved ones out of a long-term care facility.
Options for Paying for In-Home Care
If you are expecting mom or dad’s Medicare insurance policy to pay for home care, think again. Medicare and other supplemental insurance plans cover personal care only if the insured is receiving skilled care from a Medicare-certified healthcare professional. In other words, they do not pay for custodial care or homemaker services alone.
That said, here are some different options when it comes to paying for senior in-home care:
Private pay (out of pocket)
Anyone who pays out of pocket for home care should first compare rates from several agencies and carefully consider factors like quality, affordability, and reputation.
Long-term care (LTC) insurance
Some privately paid insurance plans cover non-medical long-term care costs, including personal care and homemaker services provided at home. Depending on the type of LTC policy they have, your loved one may have a waiting period before they can start collecting benefits.
Medical health insurance
Most forms of private insurance do not pay for custodial or personal care services. In general, private health insurance only covers limited and specific types of long-term care. Disability policies don’t provide any LTC coverage at all. Private health insurance plans and HMOs typically follow the same rules set forth by Medicare.
Veterans Administration (VA)
Veterans who are at least 50% disabled due to a service-related condition are eligible for home health care coverage provided by the Veterans Administration (VA). A physician must authorize the services delivered by the VA’s network of hospital-based home care teams. In addition, the VA will sometimes cover non-medical services, like personal care and homemaker services, if specific eligibility requirements are met.
Older Americans Act (OAA)
The Older Americans Act (OAA) provides federal funds for state and local social service programs that enable frail and disabled older individuals (aged 60+) to remain independent in their communities. Along with home health care, this funding covers chore, escort, meal delivery, and shopping services for eligible participants.
Persons who have the financial resources pay a little out of pocket for OOA services. Your local Area on Aging can provide more information on these home care funding opportunities.
Social Services Block Grant Programs
States receive annual funding as federal social services block grants for state-identified service needs, including nonmedical homemaker services. Your state health department or local office on aging can provide additional information about these programs.
Cash and Counseling Programs
Based on a “consumer-directed” care model, these programs give eligible seniors a cash allowance to pay for their home care needs. These funds also apply to hiring a relative or friend to provide personal and household care, buy assistive devices, or pay for home modifications. You can learn more at the Eldercare Locator.
Family Trusted Home Care for Seniors
When you or your loved one need assistance, contact us. We are a fully licensed and insured home care provider with highly trained professionals who are experts at delivering the nurturing that your loved one deserves. While serving as an extended family in your senior’s home, our compassionate caregivers can perform duties like light housekeeping, personal care, dementia care, companionship care, medication reminders, and even live-in and 24-hour care.
Our agency’s focus is on maintaining your loved one’s quality of life, along with their dignity, self-esteem, and independence. For your added convenience, all our in-home services can be individually personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! Please visit us online now to learn more about us or schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in our service area.