Many adult children assume that mom or dad will be financially secure in their later years because they are on Medicare or Medicaid. Unfortunately, these government programs won’t pay for assisted living costs in full. However, there are insurance options and government benefits available that can help ease the financial burden of aging.
Here are three ways you can make assisted living more affordable:
1. Life Insurance. Many people don’t realize that life insurance can be utilized before the policy holder passes away. Sometimes referred to as receiving “accelerated benefits,” your loved one may be eligible to cash out the policy early. When you receive accelerated life insurance benefits, the insurance company will typically buy back the policy for 50 to 75 percent of its value.
Alternatively, you could decide to sell the policy to a third party. Known as a “life settlement,” the third party will also buy the policy for a discount to allow you and your loved one to access the funds sooner. In this scenario, the third party will continue to pay premiums until your loved one passes away – but the company will receive the benefits instead of the policy’s original beneficiary. If you find that the money that comes with life insurance will be most helpful for your family before your loved one passes away, you may want to consider a life settlement. However, it does have its risks.
2. Long-Term Care Insurance. Medicare does not pay for assisted living, and Medicaid covers expenses, at select properties, only after you have spent all your personal financial assets. For these reasons, many seniors invest in long-term care insurance, which can cover assisted living as well as adult day care services, home health services and more. Many people choose to invest in long-term care insurance between the ages of 52 and 64. Your current health affects your rate, so it’s often best to invest when you’re at your healthiest.
Benefits from long-term care insurance can range from $1,900 to $9,000 a month. Because The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance does not market or sell insurance, its website is a great place to start for objective information about what long-term care insurance plan works best for your loved one. At The Preserve at Clearwater, we encourage our residents to take advantage of long-term care insurance for a high quality of life in their later years.
3. Veterans Benefits. If you or your loved one is a veteran, you may be eligible for some significant benefits through the Veterans Administration, especially if either of you have experienced an injury while serving.
You should also familiarize yourself with Aid and Attendance benefits, which are available to veterans or their surviving spouses. In order to apply, your loved one will need military discharge papers and a medical condition that makes assisted living necessary. The medical condition does not have to be service-related, and these benefits typically range between $1,000 and $2,000 dollars a month. Visit VeteranAid.org for more information about Aid and Attendance benefits.
Senior benefits – especially veteran-related benefits – can be tricky to qualify for, so it’s important that you are not afraid to ask plenty of questions. Whoever you ask may be having a bad or busy day, so you may get short, incomplete, or rushed answers. For example, sometimes people are told their loved one has too many assets to qualify for a certain program. However, working with an estate planner you may receive valuable counsel on how to qualify for these benefits. To get the coverage you need, do your research, ask a number of trusted people, and be persistent if you think there’s some way your loved one can qualify.
At The Preserve at Clearwater, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about how to secure the best quality of life for your loved one’s golden years. Our caring staff, engaging resident programs, and delicious dining rival the best assisted living in Florida, and we’re always willing to work with residents and their families to make senior living services such as those requiring basic assistance or support with Dementia or Alzheimer’s as affordable as possible.
Photo credit: Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_imtmphoto'>imtmphoto / 123RF Stock Photo</a>