How to Pay for Home Health Care

If you or someone in your family has a debilitating health condition, do you know how to pay for home health care?

Our health care needs change as we grow older. Many seniors will eventually require some type of medical or personal home care. According to a recent study, approximately 12 million Americans currently receive some type of health-related assistance at home.

Very few individuals ever include long term care in their financial planning. When it is needed, it is usually paid for out-of-pocket.

What is Home Health Care?

Seniors with health conditions can remain independent longer with home-based medical care and daily living assistance.
Home health care includes many different types of services, such as:

  • Medication management
  • Nutrition
  • Therapy and rehabilitation
  • Wound dressing
  • Help with getting in and out of bed
  • Bathing and dressing
  • Meal preparation
  • House cleaning
  • Transportation

The care is provided by licensed professionals such as nurses, therapists and home health care aides, as well as custodial care workers.

In some cases, the purpose of the care will be to help a senior recover from an injury or illness. Home care may also be necessary when a person is disabled or suffering from a chronic condition such as heart disease, endocrine disorders, metabolic diseases and diabetes. Hospice care for terminally ill patients can also be provided at home.

Home Health Care Payment Options

There are several ways to pay for home health care. Government programs such as Medicare will pay for short term, acute care on a limited basis. Medicaid will pay for home care if you meet very specific low income financial criteria.

You can also pay for home health care – without depleting bank accounts – by selling your life insurance policy.

Paying for Home Health Care with Life Insurance

You can use your life insurance policy to pay for home health care with a cash surrender, Accelerated Death Benefits (ADB), life settlements, viatical settlements or a Long Term Benefit Care Plan.

In a cash surrender, the policy is terminated and the life insurance company pays the policyholder a small percentage of its value.

Accelerated Death Benefits (ADB) is a provision in some insurance policies that allows benefits to be paid while the policyholder is still living. To qualify for the benefit, the individual must be terminally ill, confined to a nursing home and unable to perform daily living tasks.

A life settlement involves the selling of a policy to a third party. In most cases the policyholder must be 65 years of age or older. The money generated from the sale will be more than the cash surrender value, but less than the death benefit. It is also taxed.

Viatical settlements are life settlements for policyholders with a terminal illness, usually with a life expectancy of less than 2 years. Some viatical companies will offer settlements to terminally ill policyholders with a 5 year life expectancy.

Long Term Care Benefit Plans fall under the category of life settlements, and usually provide the highest percentage of cash – sometimes as much as 40% – 50%. The money is deposited into an irrevocable Benefit Account. Payments are made directly to caregivers by an account administrator. Medicaid considers a Long Term Care Benefit Plan a spend down of assets.

Once a life insurance policy is sold to a third-party or converted to a Long Term Care Benefit Plan, premiums will no longer need to be paid.

Paying for home health care can be costly. Elder Care Funding can help you or a loved one determine the best method of elder care financing, including how to pay for home health care. To find out if you qualify for a Long Term Benefit Plan, complete the form below or call 1-844-814-6511.

Tips on Funding Elder Care

Financing is often a key concern when an elder family member requires medical and personal care, especially when a senior has health issues. Funding elder care can be difficult. Even basic personal care services can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year. If skilled nursing care is required, annual expenses can jump to a staggering $120,000 or more per year.

Types of Elder Care Funding

There are two main types of funding for elder care: government support and private pay. Government support includes Medicare, Medicaid and veteran’s benefits.

Medicare is part of the Social Security Act and managed by the U.S. government. The program was launched in 1966 to ensure health care for seniors aged 65 and older and younger people with specific disabilities. You may also be eligible for Medicare if you have kidney failure.

In order to qualify for Medicare, you must be a U.S. citizen and have paid into the system. Medicare primarily focuses on emergency and short term care. It does not cover long term care or personal care such as assistance with hygiene and housekeeping. Skilled nursing may be provided under certain circumstances for 20 days. If longer care is needed, Medicare will cover costs that exceed $140.00 per day for the next 21 to 100 days.

Medicaid is a health care program for low income individuals of any age. The program will only cover long term care if you meet strict financial criteria. Individuals with assets rarely qualify for Medicaid.

Military veterans can receive disability benefits if the injury was service-related or the Aid and Attendance Benefit for non-disability cases who are war era veterans or their surviving spouses.

Funding Elder Care On Your Own

For many people, funding elder care will require tapping into other types of financial resources such as savings accounts and loans. However, depleting bank accounts and increasing debt can create new hardships and burdens.

One way to avoid a financial catastrophe is with a life settlement or viatical settlement.

A life settlement is the selling of a life insurance policy to a third party. The sale price is lower than the death benefit by much higher than the cash surrender value. In most cases, the policyholder must be at least 65 years old and not chronically or terminally ill.

Viatical settlements are a form life settlement structured for life insurance policyholders who have a chronic or terminal illness. In order to qualify for this type of settlement, life expectancy is generally 2 to 5 years.

In both cases, after the policy has been sold, the buyer becomes responsible for the policy’s premium payments. The buyer will also be the beneficiary of the policy when it is time for death benefits to be paid.

While there are no restrictions on how the money from a life settlement or viatical settlement is used, in most situations the income will go towards elder care. A third option involving a life insurance policy is a Long Term Benefit Plan. Similar to life settlements and viatical settlements, the policy is sold to a third party. The difference is that the money from the sale is deposited into a protected Benefit Account.

A Long Term Benefit Plan can be established fairly quickly, usually within 30 days. There are no limitations regarding what type of care the money is spent on and the money does not need to be paid back.

It can be heartbreaking to watch a family member’s physical or mental condition deteriorate as they age. It can also be devastating when financial resources for assisted living, nursing home or hospice care are limited – or nonexistent. Elder Care Funding specializes in finding financial solutions for seniors in need of medical and personal care. To find out if you qualify for a Long Term Benefit Plan, complete the form below. You can also give us a call at 1-844-814-6511.

Elder Care for Seniors With Health Conditions

Not only is America’s population of seniors growing at a rapid rate, there has also been a significant increase in older adults with chronic illnesses. According to a recent study, 1 in 5 seniors have 5 or more chronic conditions, and 2 in 5 seniors will require long term care, also known as elder care.

What is Elder Care?

Elder care is medical and personal care tailored to meet the needs of seniors who are disabled or suffer from a chronic or terminal illness. It can include skilled nursing care, as well as help with everyday living. The care can be provided at home, by community agencies or at a facility.

One of the goals of elder care is to enable a senior to maintain his or her quality of life as best as possible for as long as possible. Home care in particular can help reduce stress, and may even lead to fewer hospital visits and improved health.

Elder care at home is either provided by family members or caregivers such as nurses, home health aides and personal aids. Nurses and home health aides will administer medication, check vital signs and manage the senior’s health care needs. Personal aids will help the senior with bathing, dressing, hygiene, meal preparation, errands and transportation. Many times the duties of a nurse and home health aide will include personal assistance. Home health care workers are hired directly by the family or through an agency.

Community programs such as adult day care centers are another form of elder care. At an adult center, seniors receive whatever help they need throughout the day in a supportive environment. Programs can include social as well as therapeutic activities. Adult day cat centers generally operate during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.

An independent living facility is another option for elders, especially individuals with minimal health care needs. Apartments or condominiums at these facilities can be purchased or rented. They enable seniors to live on their own in an environment with an abundance of recreational and social activities.

If a senior cannot live independently, elder care can be provided at an Assisted Living Facilities (ALF). These facilities are for seniors with health conditions who need help with daily tasks such as personal hygiene, getting in and out of bed, dressing and bathing. Also known as adult foster car or residential care, most ALFs will have health care workers such as health care aides on-site.

Elders with serious health problems may need the services of a nursing home. At a nursing home, seniors will receive 24/7 care by a licensed health care professional. They may have a private room or share a room with another resident. Some nursing homes will only provide basic care, while others are staffed to help elders with severe and worsening health conditions.

Other types of elder care include hospice care for seniors with a terminal illness, and dementia or memory care. Dementia (Alzheimer’s) is a very specific health care issue. Due to its progressive nature, various types of dementia care may be needed over time. It is estimated that as many as 5 million Americans have the disease, and 1 in 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another similar type of dementia.

Financing Elder Care

Caring for an aging elder can be difficult emotionally and financially. According to a 2011 study, almost 40 million people over the age of 15 provided some type of unpaid care to a person over 65 with an age-related condition.

One of the best ways to provide for an elder’s medical and personal needs, is by converting their life insurance policy into a Long Term Benefit Care Plan. The policy can be converted in as little as 30 days for significantly more money than its cash surrender value.

Elder Care Funding can help you with financing issues related to long term care. To find out if you or a family member qualifies for a Long Term Benefit Care Plan, complete the form below or call 1-844-814-6511 for assistance.

Long Term Care Facts & Options

Do you or a loved one need long term care? A serious illness can require more than just quality medical treatment. Many times personal help and assistance will also be needed to maintain quality of life. Long term care refers to both the medical and non-medical needs of a disabled, chronically ill or terminally ill person. It can include many different types of services, such as shopping, meal preparation, laundry, housework, taking care of pets and transportation. The care can be provided at home, in the community or at a facility such as a nursing home.

Types of Long Term Care

When long term care is provided at home, it is often by a nurse or home health care aide. Community-type services include transportation agencies, adult day care centers and home care companies that send staff to help with personal errands, companionship and similar types of activities.  Nursing homes provide 24 hour skilled nursing and residential care, along with various types of rehabilitation therapy.

Long term care can also include the services of an Assisted Living Facility (ALF), where residents receive help with daily living such as bathing, dressing, housekeeping and food preparation, along with medication supervision and coordination of medical services.

Hospice care, another type of long term care, is for terminally ill patients with less than six months to live. The focus of hospice care is patient well-being. The care can be provided at home or in a facility such as an ALF or nursing home.

Long Term Care Costs

The cost of long term care will vary depending on location and the type of services required. According to government statistics, the average annual costs for long term care are:

  • $32,000 – $56,000 for homemaker services
  • $34,000 – $57,000 for a home health aide
  • Up to $33,000 for adult day health care
  • Up to $73,000 for assisted living
  • $47,000 to $270,000 for nursing home care

Even though studies show that 70% of the people that turn age 65 will need some type of long term care in the future, less than 3% of the U.S. population has long term care insurance. Simply put, most people never plan for an extended health crisis. Or, they incorrectly believe their health insurance will cover their medical costs and personal needs.

Health insurance policies do not pay for custodial care (non-skilled personal care). Coverage is typically for skilled medical care over a specific period of time, such as 90 days. When the coverage includes home care, it is for a maximum number of home visits. This is because the policy is written with the expectation that the patient will recover from his or her illness. Any type of custodial care, such as help with bathing, eating and dressing, is excluded from the policy.

Medicare works the same way. During the first 20 days, 100% of the person’s medical expenses (skilled medical care) will be covered. For the next 80 days, a co-pay will be required. Medicare will not pay for skilled care after 100 days.

Medicaid, another government health care program, offers long term care to low income individuals who meet strict financial requirements.
Using Life Insurance for Long Term Care

One way to pay for long term care is by converting a life insurance policy into a Long Term Benefit Plan. Not only will you receive significantly more money than the policy’s cash surrender value, the benefit payment is also tax exempt. It can also be adjusted if there is a change in care needs.

Elder Care Funding specializes in long term care financing solutions. If you would like to find out if you qualify for a Long Term Care Benefit Plan, complete the form below or call 1-844-814-6511 for assistance.