Posted December 15, 2006

Long-term care is very expensive.  It really is unfortunate that many families and seniors think that Medicare will pay for their stay in an assisted living facility.  Medicare is health insurance.  It doesn’t care where you live or really where you are receiving the care. 

I went over the range of costs in the last few posts, and also discussed that option of Supportive Living should a senior have no assists and Medicaid is their only option.

When I am trying to help a family find a solution I usually ask the following questions:
What do they think their budget is?  How much income does the senior receive monthly (from social security, pensions or income from investments?)?  What is the value or equity in their home and will they be selling to home to pay for the care?  Is the senior a veteran or a widow of a veteran?  (I will talk about this Aid and Attendance benefit in another post.)  Do they have long term care insurance?  Not many 80 and 90 years olds do, as it really wasn’t a product back when they would have been eligible to pay for it.  Though I know many children who have run out and purchased it after seeing how much it will cost if they need long term care and they don’t want to burden their children.  My final question is will the family be supplementing the cost in anyway?  Some can and some cannot.

What I can never do is assume how much someone has or is willing to pay.  I provide them with their options and the costs and it is up to them to determine the quality of care that they can afford. 

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