When an aging loved one or a family member with a disability needs more care than can be safely provided in their home, Missouri and Illinois families often turn to long-term care centers for help. If you are just beginning to consider a nursing care community for your loved one, finances may be a concern. While this level of care is a comprehensive solution for meeting their needs, it can be an expensive one. We thought it would help to review the methods typically used to pay for long-term care.
Available Methods for Long-Term Care
- Private funds and asset liquidation—For many families, private resources quickly become exhausted when paying for nursing home care, but they are often the initial source of payment. For families, it often means selling a parent’s home or liquidating their investments.
- Medicaid—In most nursing care communities, Medicaid is a major payment source. In Missouri, caregivers can visit the Department of Social Services Nursing Home Coverage to learn more. For Illinois caregivers, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services offers Long Term Care and Supportive Living Programs.
- Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Benefit—If your loved one served our country during a period of war or conflict or is the surviving spouse of someone who served, they might be eligible for support. The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs has information about the Aid & Attendance benefit on their website.
- Long Term Care Insurance—Long-term care insurance is designed to help finance long-term care services and support, including custodial care. Coverages vary widely. Some have daily or weekly limits while others only will pay for care for a pre-determined number of years. Be sure to read your senior loved one’s policy closely and to seek help if you aren’t clear on what is and isn’t covered.
- Life Settlement Programs—This is a lesser known option that allows seniors to sell their life insurance policy to a third party. They receive a higher return than the cash surrender amount but not as much as the death benefit. You can learn more about these programs at the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA). A word of caution on these. Most vendors offer fair and equitable settlements, but there have been a variety of cases of fraud from less than honest companies. Be sure to use a credible company and to check with the Better Business Bureau.