What is homecare? Homecare refers to supportive care provided in a person’s home to assist with activities of daily living or medical/recovery needs. Homecare often encompasses a wide range of services for people who might be elderly, disabled, or in recovery from an illness or survey. In-home care can provide supervision and assistance so an individual can continue to live independently in his or her own home. However, families are often concerned about how much homecare services cost and their financial options for payment.
Seniors and their families can explore various payment options for homecare. In-home care expenses differ based on location and the level of service required. Medicare coverage is usually limited to specific disabilities or services a physician prescribes. Seniors seeking nonmedical care, such as meal preparation or housekeeping, may not qualify for Medicare benefits. Thus, what alternative payment methods exist for seniors needing homecare services?
TennCare CHOICES is a program for Tennessee residents ages 65 and older who need help with everyday activities. Medicaid eligibility criteria, including income and asset limits, must be met to qualify for homecare benefits. Call 1-866-836-6678 from anywhere to be automatically directed to your nearest Area Agency.
Long-term care insurance is purchased from private companies to cover the costs of nursing home care, assisted living, and in-home care. Benefits vary depending on the plan, so it’s essential to clarify the services covered by the policy at the time of purchase. Keep in mind that assistance with the costs of personal home care services may only be provided if the plan includes an allowance for nonmedical services. Protect your assets, maintain your independence, reduce the burden on your family, and have the option to choose the type of care that best suits your preferences. According to Consumers Advocate, GoldenCare is the #1 choice for LTCi. Call 800-331-4745 for more information. Plan ahead when building and purchasing a long-term care insurance policy. Premiums are usually lowest for healthy individuals in their 50s or 60s.
The Veterans Health Administration’s standard health benefits package may provide various levels of in-home care as an alternative to nursing home care. The Skilled Home Health Care Services (SHHC), Homemaker and Home Health Aide Services (H/HHA), and Home-Based Primary Care programs are available to all veterans who meet eligibility requirements for standard benefits, although some additional conditions may apply. Veterans Affairs Benefits provides financial assistance for homecare services to eligible veterans. To apply for a VA pension, call 800-827-1000 or go to va.gov/pension/how-to-apply
Medicaid is a joint state and federal program that provides health coverage to seniors with low income and limited assets. Benefits are administered statewide, so eligibility requirements and covered services can differ significantly. The state Medicaid plan may cover home health care and personal care services depending on where a senior lives. Some states have expanded their Medicaid coverage through waivers to provide services for populations that might otherwise be eligible. Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers can be used to pay for in-home and non-medical home care services. If you are Medicaid eligible, you may have extra benefits for homecare costs that Medicare does not cover. To check your eligibility, call 855-259-0701.
Many families pay out of pocket for in-home care services. Possible sources to cover private-pay home care expenses include individual retirement accounts (IRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), pensions, investments, annuities, real estate, and Social Security benefits.
Although seniors may hesitate to use their hard-earned savings or liquidate assets, it’s essential to consider that properly “spending down” almost all assets is required to qualify for Medicaid. An elder’s care needs will grow over time, and higher levels of long-term care are increasingly expensive. Unless an aging loved one has amassed significant savings, it’s essential to consider the possibility that they may outlive their funds and need to apply for Medicaid when creating a long-term financial plan.
The Older Americans Act (OAA) provides federal funding for nationwide home- and community-based services. Although they aren’t intended to provide funds to seniors directly, these services and resources can save time while helping to supplement the expense of in-home care. Call 1-866-836-6678 for a list of supportive agencies in your area.
Many other resources help families plan in-home care and related expenses. Elder law attorneys specialize in preparing for retirement, funding long-term care, and estate planning. They help seniors understand Social Security benefits, veterans benefits, and Medicaid applications. Elder law attorneys can also provide referrals to other valuable resources like financial advisors, tax specialists, geriatric care managers, and elder care providers.
Medicare brokers are advisors who represent multiple insurance companies. They can help you evaluate the various plan options and assist with enrollment. Geriatric care managers are typically licensed nurses or social workers offering several services to help families plan and manage care options. They can provide support such as doing in-home evaluations and coordinating medical services.
If you or a loved one needs help navigating in-home care options, contact AdvanceCare Health Services. We can help you determine the cost of care in your area while navigating your options. Call 615-891-4132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.tnadvancecare.com for answers, support, or advice on senior care options. We touch lives!