How to Pay for Long Term Care
Last week, I shared with you, “How to Know Your Loved One is Ready for Long Term Care.” This week, we’ll look at the process of paying for long term care. One thought before we begin: long term care is never free. Depending upon their physical and mental needs, your loved one may require a short stay to regain strength, a permanent stay, assistance with all cares, a very secure environment, guided activities, trained therapists to guide improved strength and functional ability or to keep them moving throughout each day, as well as administrative, nursing, dietary, environmental services and maintenance staff. It takes a great deal of dedicated, compassionate personnel to provide exceptional care.
Because long term care is never free, the options below will give you an idea of how to pay for long term care. The list is certainly not exhaustive; therefore if you have questions or concerns, please call my office at 417-328-6252. I’d be glad to chat with you about this blog!
- Long term care insurance. Always check the plan for limits related to the policy. Long term care insurance may or may not pay for the entire stay or the entire amount. It’s best to know before you or your loved one must put it to use.
- Private pay. I tell individuals inquiring about private pay, that a good pocket book estimate is $3,500 a month for room and board. Of course, this can vary greatly depending upon the facility you choose, plus the cost of medications and other special items needed for care.
- Medicaid. Routine long term care is covered by Medicaid. However, based upon the law that governs the use of Medicaid funds, long term care residents utilizing Medicaid must turn in monthly income to the facility. Medicaid allows residents to keep $35 per month of their income for personal expenses not covered by the facility (haircuts, snacks or treats from the community, etc.)
- Medicare. Medicare and medicare replacement insurances all have individual, very specific and limited guidelines for assisting with a long term care stay. Most require a hospital stay of three midnights and that the time at the care facility is for care connected specifically to that hospital stay. This must be care that cannot be provided in the home environment. The guidelines also include specifics about your ability and progress toward improvement. None of these will pay for more than 100 days for an episode of illness and the majority will involve co-pays from you at some point during the stay.
The CMH long term care staff would like to invite you and your loved one(s) to visit any of our six long term care facilities at any time. You are welcome to call my office at 417-328-6252 to set up your no-pressure visit.
All the Best,
Aileen Kelley, RN, BC
LTC Admissions & Case Manager