It can be overwhelming to learn that a loved one needs to receive in-home healthcare services. Will the person ever regain their ability to care for themselves? What kind of person should be taking care of your loved one? What is the best source for care? How will the care be paid for?
Miami's Community Newspapers’ recent article, “How to Pay for Home Healthcare without Going Broke,” says that many funding resources for in-home services may cost very little or nothing. There are some funding resources for seniors who don’t qualify for government programs. However, bear in mind that some carry financial risks. An experienced Elder Law attorney can help you find the best options for your circumstances.
There are also several different types of caregivers for senior caregiving. You should learn about various roles, since their funding is from different sources.
Personal Care. There are many names for personal care assistants like home care aides, custodial care aides, personal care assistants and companionship aides. They help seniors with hygiene and grooming activities. These caregivers are self-employed and aren’t required to have any certification, licensing or insurance. They typically charge 20-30% less than workers from home health care agencies and you can usually get one on short notice. Medicare doesn’t cover funding for personal caregiving alone. As a result, most families use personal savings for this service.
Home Healthcare. Home healthcare aides (HHA) or certified nurse aides (CNA), personal care aides (PCA) and geriatric workers are considered skilled care. They perform duties like taking a pulse or monitoring blood pressure and personal care. They help with medication management and medical equipment, and provide a higher level of care. HHAs usually work with home health care agencies that have state certification to bill under Medicare and are bonded, licensed and insured.
Seniors who need these types of care, should look for funding for home healthcare in several areas:
Medicare and Veteran’s Administration. Two primary sources of funding for skilled senior care are Medicare and the Veteran’s Administration. Home health agencies take care of the billing.
Medicaid. Some in-home healthcare services may not be covered under the Medicare or Veteran’s Administration plans, so seniors with Medicaid may need to bill for some medical services separately.
State Programs. The Older Americans Act offers funding to states for Meals on Wheels and meals served in senior centers. It also funds programs for health promotion and family caregiving support.
Personal Funding. Maximize federal and state funding before you use your personal finances. There are several ways to finance uncovered costs like your personal savings, annuities, long term care insurance, a reverse mortgage, life insurance policy conversion, home care loans and a home equity line of credit.
Ask a Professional for Advice. There are a number of professionals who can help you figure out the best way to pay for the care, if you need to tap into personal funds. An Elder Lawyer or an estate planning attorney will be able to make recommendations for geriatric care managers or eldercare resource planners. An estate planning attorney will be able to help you understand payment options and how paying from personal funds will impact the person’s financial health and estate plan.
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Reference: Miami's Community Newspapers (March 21, 2017) “How to Pay for Home Healthcare without Going Broke”