How Can I Pay for Home Health Care in My Senior Years?

One of the most significant challenges of healthcare in the current climate is the financial burden. Too many people choose to go without essential medications and treatments simply because they feel it is too expensive. However, when it comes to senior care, the elderly should never have to feel backed into a corner in such a way. Fortunately, when it comes to paying for home healthcare in your senior years, there are options.

When paying for senior homecare, turn to Medicare first to see what is covered under your benefits. Original Medicare can cover the full cost of medically necessary home health care on a limited basis for those who are unable to leave their homes without assistance. These benefits include a skilled nurse, acquiring occupational, physical, and speech therapy, and getting home health aide services. If you need help with bathing and dressing and basic medical care, it is only on a part-time or intermittent basis. However, there are private policies that cover more benefits.

One of the most challenging ways to pay for home healthcare services is out-of-pocket. For clients who have private pay home care, they choose to pay for these services via annuities, investments and savings, life insurance policies (which qualify for use as home-care expenses or an accelerated death benefit) and even borrowing. Some people also have to take out a reverse mortgage or home equity loan to pay for this portion of their, or their loved one’s, health care. 

If you are still looking for home care providers and privately funding your own home health care services is not something you can do, you may look into government assistance. The Federal government has a website called Eldercare Locator, and it is an excellent guide to finding local resources for senior care. Especially if you are looking for home health services covered by Medicare and Medicaid, this government reference is a significant help. You may also look at the National Council on Aging’s BenefitsCheckUp to find out what you qualify for through Medicaid.

For elders that are also veterans, VA programs should be the first place you look if you are having trouble finding affordable home health care services. Eligible former service members may qualify for programs such as Aid and Attendance benefits, Housebound benefits, or Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care. One lesser-known program for seniors is PACE or Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, which is a Medicaid and Medicare program that is aimed at keeping seniors out of nursing homes. It focuses on in-home care, day programs, checkups, transportation, and more. It even provides respite for family caregivers.

When it comes to paying for home health care, you may believe that such a daunting task never existed. While healthcare itself is a complicated topic, healthcare as we age, grows exponentially. However, there are programs and options out there - we have to keep looking for them.