Paying For Home Care
When a loved one requires home care, there are steps to take for finding the right caregiver for the job. Although private home care can be expensive, it is possible to afford the compassionate care an aging or sick parent or spouse needs and deserves. There are ways to get help paying for home care.
Finding a Caregiver
The first step in finding a caregiver is to determine what type of home care the person needs. He or she may need personal care services, companionship, non-medical care, such as homemaker services, or skilled medical care. The type of care will determine the hourly rate and the overall cost of paying for home care.
The job description should clearly state the requirements the in-home caregiver needs. It also should state what work experience an applicant must have and specify whether the position requires someone with a nursing license or someone who is certified as a nursing assistant. Before interviewing an applicant, it’s helpful to check the person’s references and work history, as well as verify the individual’s license or certification status with the state.
Paying for Home Care
There are several options for paying for home care. If the individual who needs the care is 65 years of age or older, the first option is to look to his or her Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits, as either of these programs will pay for eligible in-home care services if the person qualifies. Medicare will cover intermittent home health care services including skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language therapy if a doctor certifies the individual is home bound and needs the services to maintain his or her condition. It will not pay for personal care, homemaker services, or 24-hour care in the home.
Paying For Home Care with VA Benefits
If a loved one who is a military veteran or a veteran’s surviving spouse needs home care, he or she may qualify for the Aid and Attendance program – a benefit that increases the monthly pension amount to help pay for home care. To qualify, the individual must need another person to assist him or her with the activities of daily living; be confined to bed; or have impaired vision.
Paying For Home Care with State/County Assistance
Low-income individuals who need in-home care services sometimes qualify for financial assistance from the state or county. The local Area Agency on Aging office generally determines an individual’s eligibility for cash-assistance programs that pay for home health services. The names of the programs vary by state and county.
Paying For Home Care with Long-Term Care Insurance
Depending on the specific terms of the policy, long-term care insurance may be an option for financing home care. Whether long-term care insurance will pay for home care expenses and services depends on the coverage options the policyholder chooses and the conditions noted in the policy.
Reverse Mortgage and Reverse Life Insurance
Additional options for funding home care include taking out a reverse mortgage or accessing cash from a life insurance policy by trying to sell term life insurance policy for cash. A reverse mortgage loan uses the equity in the home as collateral. The amount of the loan a borrower can take depends on his or her age, the appraised value of the home; and the current lending interest rate. The loan does not become due until the last surviving homeowner dies or permanently moves out of the home.
Depending on a person’s circumstances, getting a life settlement on a life insurance policy may be a better option than taking out a reverse mortgage loan. Finding a life settlement provider who can walk you through the process of tapping into a life insurance policy can provide the money needed to pay for in home care. But unlike a reverse mortgage loan that accrues high interest rates, a life settlement does not put the person in more debt.