How You Can Find Help Covering the Costs of Assisted Living
Whether you are the one entering assisted living, or it’s one of your loved ones, there’s always one concern that we hear from our residents and their family members: How can we afford the costs associated with assisted living? While we strive to make comfortable, high-quality care affordable for every family, we understand that the costs of assisted living can put a strain on many people. So, here is a quick guide of the places you can turn to get help covering these costs.
While many states provide assistance for assisted living through Medicaid Waiters, the state of Florida has moved away from this program and now offers assistance through a difference Medicaid program known as Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care (SMMC LTC). Any senior who is eligible for Medicaid and requires long-term care can receive assistance through this program, either in their home, in the community, or in an assisted living facility.
If you or your loved one qualifies for or already received Medicaid, speak to a provider about receiving this type of aid for long-term assisted living care.
If the person requiring assisted living care is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran, they may qualify for financial assistance through a few different veterans’ programs. The first program is known as the Aid and Attendance Benefit, which can provide financial assistance of up to $1,881 per month for a single veteran, or $2,230 per month for a married veteran and their spouse. However, eligibility is quite complicated, so you’ll want to do extensive research into this program.
Another option for veterans is the Veterans’ Directed Care program, also known as VD-HCBS. This program gives a considerable amount of flexibility regarding how the provided care funds are spent, enabling you to apply the money in whichever way is most beneficial to you or your loved one.
Most states provide programs to help with the costs of assisted living, as they’ve recognized that providing this assistance is less costly to the state than having the individual enter a Medicaid-funded nursing home. In the state of Florida, there are two prominent programs available.
The first is the Florida Optional State Supplementation program, or OSS. This program provides financial aid to low-income seniors that are unable to live independently and require additional care. This program provides direct cash payments to the individual receiving care, which is intended for use paying room and board fees for assisted living. Some additional support may be available for expenses associated with other care services. You’ll need to be a legal Florida resident, aged 65 or older, and meet certain functional and financial eligibility requirements. If you qualify, the monthly income limit is $828.40 for an individual in assisted living, or $1,656.80 for a married couple.
The other state-funded program available in Florida is exclusively designed to provide support for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. It is known as the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative, or ADI. If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s look into this program to see if they qualify for in-home or facility-based respite care.
Life Insurance Benefits and Conversions
If you’re struggling to qualify for any of the programs mentioned above, you may want to consider looking into options that pertain to your or your loved one’s life insurance policy. Life insurance is a widely underutilized option when it comes to covering the costs of assisted living, and while not all options will be available to everyone, there are five common ways that you can make use of a life insurance policy to help with these costs:
- Life settlement – The policyholder surrenders their right to collect the death benefit from the policy. Instead, they collect an immediate lump sum of cash, and stop making payments on the policy. This lump sum can be a great help in covering the costs of assisted living.
- Viatical settlements – These are similar to a life settlement, but are limited to terminally ill individuals. The buyout on a viatical settlement is usually higher than a life settlement.
- Accelerated death benefits – This enables a terminally ill individual to receive a portion of their death benefits in advance of their actual death.
- Death benefits loans – These are loans taken out against the cash value of the policy. These loans must be repaid, or the death benefit will be reduced by the amount owed.
- Life insurance conversions – These directly convert the value of the policy in exchange for senior care. For example, if a person has a $100,000 policy, they may exchange that for several years of care in an assisted living facility. Of the five options mentioned here, this will generally offer the greatest benefit to the individual and their family.
We understand that covering the costs of assisted living can be a struggle for many people. If you’re having a hard time finding the funds to cover these expenses, give us a call. One of our experienced staff members will gladly help you navigate your way through some of the options mentioned above, so you can determine which types of financial aid are available to you.