Understanding where to turn for elder care services, can be overwhelming, but understanding HOW elder care services are paid for, is even more complicated.
Here are some of the ways that elder care is paid for.
- Seniors age 65 and older qualify for Medicare. Without getting too technical, Medicare only pays for skilled care.
- Skilled care means that the care must be ordered by a physician and provided by a licensed professional like a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, etc.
- The person receiving home health care under Medicare must be “homebound” (meaning they aren’t leaving the house to go to the grocery).
- The care will not be 24/7 care, and will probably only result in short visits periodically throughout the week or month.
Medicaid: (Medi-Cal in California)
You may be eligible for benefits through Medicaid. Medicaid programs vary by state, so you will need to check with your state Medicaid office for more information.
• Eligibility: People with disabilities are eligible in every state. In some states, people with disabilities qualify automatically if they get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. In other states you may qualify depending on your income and resources (financial assets).
• “Buy-Ins”: Some states also have “buy-in” programs that allow people with disabilities with incomes above regular Medicaid limits to enroll in the Medicaid program. Children with disabilities can qualify for Medicaid either under these disability-related rules, or based on family income.
• Expansion in 2014. Starting in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will expand the Medicaid program to cover people under age 65, including people with disabilities, with income of about $15,000 for a single individual (higher incomes for couples and families with children).
• Help for disabled people: This expansion helps low-income adults who have disabilities but don’t meet the disability requirements of the SSI program. The expansion also helps those whose income is above their state’s current eligibility levels.
To learn more about your state Medicaid program and other options available to you, use the insurance and coverage finder or visit Medicaid.gov.
- Paying for care through private funds, including checking, savings, investments.
- Using Long-Term Care Insurance
- Using VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit
In order to know how your family might pay for elder care, talk to us for guidance and information.