Many senior citizens need help with their daily living activities, which is where assisted living facilities come in. Assisted living facilities help seniors by providing help with dressing, bathing, meals and housekeeping among others.
Senior housing options are many and can range from small homes with single residents to communities with more than 100 living units, according to Assisted Living Today. The fees associated can depend on the type of facility, services provided and cost of living within a given area. But on average, fees may range from $800 to $4,000 a month.
Cost of Assisted Living
Different assisted living firms structure their costs differently. Some companies charge lump sum up-front costs, some charge either monthly or yearly while others offer their services on a la carte basis.
The average annual assisted living cost in 2012 was $42,600, according to MetLife Market survey. This does not include such related services as intermediate care, home health, skilled nursing and independent living.
The expenses associated with providing long-term assisted living care are overwhelming for many people. It is therefore important to know where to get financial aid. See a complete guide to assisted living costs by state here.
Programs Providing Financial Aid
One of the most important considerations when thinking about assisted living is whether the care provided will be paid for using state funds. In such a case, the facility or home must be licensed by the state and in a position to accept Medicaid payment.
Some states only pay for a percentage of assisted living expenses while others cover the entire cost. The Department of Social Services will provide the specifics in a given area. Medicaid coverage will depend on the level of medical attention provided. Generally, Medicaid provides financial aid to the elderly who need medical attention in their assisted living facilities.
Medicaid is intended for low-income people, and even an asset level of $2,000 can disqualify someone from coverage.
Part A of Medicare, which covers medical expenses for people who are at least 65 years old, covers the first hundred days in a skilled nursing facility or hospital. It covers meals, skilled care, medical equipment, tests, semi-private room and occupational, speech and physical therapy. Part B provides coverage for the medical services received at a physician’s office.
While there is no Medicare assisted living, some facilities provide Medicaid assisted living rates.
Long-Term Care Insurance
This is different than but supplements health insurance. This policy is especially ideal for the elderly requiring assisted living. However, it is important to read between the lines to avoid restrictions that may bar the elderly people from receiving financial aid when they need it most. Terms like continual supervision or hands-on assistance are too restrictive.
Long-term care insurance is costly and is not recommended for people:
• who find it difficult to pay for their regular living expenses
• with limited assets
• who rely on social security for their incomes
• who cannot afford premium increases of 20 percent or more
Anyone who wants to take the insurance should start early because the premiums can be very high for those who want to start in their twilight years. It is ideal for people who are below 70 years old and have significant assets.
Department of Housing & Urban Development
People who would like to seek financial assistance through HUD must determine the type of assisted living they want, what they can afford on their own and what their health insurance may cover.
Seniors whose annual incomes are below $12,000 can receive rent subsidies that may pay for their room-and-board at assisted living facilities.
Life Care Funding Group (LCFG)
LCFG converts death benefits of in-force life insurance policies into long-term care benefits.
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