There are many options to consider when you or someone you love needs help. Today, many seniors prefer to remain independent in the comfort, safety, and familiarity of their own home, or “age in place”.
If you have already determined that in-home care is the proper choice and have selected a qualified Agency, you may have payment options. Some are listed below.
- PRIVATE PAY: Private pay is a total out of pocket option. While this is not always the optimal solution, it may be a fitting way to fund an immediate unexpected need or even a long term by using savings or investment income like an annuity. Annuities are intended to return an assured monthly income on your investment. The terms may arrange payments for a pre-determined number of years or payments until death. There are different types of annuities, each with specific terms which may prove favorable or unfavorable, depending on each situation. Seeking the advice of a reputable Elder Law Attorney would be highly advised. A Certified Elder Law Attorney or a Professional Guardian can be very helpful in this evaluation process.
- MEDICARE: Medicare benefits were not created specifically for in-home care. It may provide short term, limited coverage for one returning home from a procedure in a hospital or after discharge from a rehabilitation facility. Consult your physician to learn what assistance you may be eligible for through Medicare.
- LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE (LTCI): Long Term Care Insurance is a very good product if you have planned ahead and purchased such a policy. If you wait until it is needed, chances are you will be declined coverage. When buying LTCI, be sure to understand the coverage(s) that you are considering. For example; What is the lifetime maximum?, Are there maximum daily, weekly, or monthly benefits?, Can I purchase an inflation rider to ease the burden if increased future costs?, Exactly what are the requirements to begin and continue benefits?
- VETERANS ADMINISTRATION (VA) BENEFITS: The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs has VA Medical Centers and VA Clinics throughout the state. Each provides no-cost assistance connecting Veterans with services and benefits that they are eligible to receive. A few of the home-care services and benefits are:
- The Homemaker and Home Health Aide Program
- The Aid and Attendance Program
- Respite Services
- Home Based Primary Care
Please call the Health Care Benefits Division of the VA at 1-877-222-8387 for more information.
- REVERSE MORTGAGE: If you are at least 62 years of age, and need the funds for healthcare and, or other expenses, you may wish to consider a reverse mortgage. This product is called a reverse mortgage because the lender make monthly payments to you, the homeowner, based upon your equity. When the last surviving borrower passes on or vacates the property, the loan is to be repaid. Please consider that fewer assets will be available for the heirs of your estate. There are different types of reverse mortgages available today. Take the time to evaluate each to determine if this is an option to consider. Seeking the advice of a reputable Elder Law Attorney or Professional Guardian to evaluate your individual situation and navigate your options is highly advised. This task should not be undertaken without the advice of knowledgeable council.
- LIFE INSURANCE SETTLEMENT: Your life insurance policy is considered an asset and may be a source of funding to pay for healthcare and other expenses. If your children are grown and financially self-sufficient, and your surviving spouse will not be financially dependent on these proceeds, this may be an option. In most states, this type of transaction is closely regulated by the office of the Insurance Commissioner. Typically, this type of transaction is handled by a broker who charges a commission that should be clearly defined in any agreement. Again, seeking the advice of a trustworthy Elder Law Attorney or a Professional Guardian to assess this option is highly recommended.
All of these choices involve your care, finances and future. Each should be carefully considered. Consult with a professional who will have your personal interest at heart prior to finalizing any of these options.