Paying For Long-Distance Care

Because they can’t be present to take care of even minor caregiving concerns, long-distance caregivers often face difficult financial burdens.

Private payment is the costliest option for residential care, but it is also the most widely used payment method, both for nursing homes and for other types of residential care facilities. However, there are some other opportunities worth investigating to help ease the cost of full-time care.

Medicare

This federally funded health insurance program for citizens age 65 and over, as well as for some disabled people under age 65, doesn’t cover custodial care. But Medicare Part A does pay for a limited number of days of “reasonable and necessary care” in a skilled nursing facility. It also covers medically necessary home health care or hospice care when certain requirements are met, and it pays 80 percent of the approved cost for durable home medical equipment. Medicare Part B helps pay for physician services, outpatient, long-term, or custodial care. Part B generally pays 80 percent of the Medicare approved amounts for home health services to those beneficiaries who do not have Part A.

Medicaid

This state/federal program pays for some long-term care services when certain eligibility and financial need requirements are met. The requirements tend to change frequently, so you’ll need to stay up-to-date on any relevant regulations. Medicaid covers long-term care benefits that provide financial protection for beneficiaries, spouses, and the adult children of those requiring nursing home care.

Veteran’s Benefits

Residential care may be available if your loved one is a wartime veteran or surviving spouse. Information on benefits is available at any Veteran’s Administration office.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Private long-term care insurance varies greatly from company to company, so read your policy carefully to see what is covered. Some policies pay for nursing home services, and some respite care may also be covered by private health insurance.

There are many more resources for financial planning now than there were just a few years ago. In addition to the services listed above, reverse mortgages and viatical settlements are just two of the newer options that you should investigate. Also, almost one-third of the states have now passed laws that provide for tax deductions for long-term care.

In addition, there are a variety of opportunities for financial help for supplemental care. If your loved one has a limited income, he or she may be eligible for certain local and community services, including home health aide services, transportation, delivered meals, or home repair. Also, area social services can inform you of other financial relief—like food stamps or supplemental security income—for those with limited incomes.

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