What Assisted Living and Memory Care Costs Are Covered By Insurance?
For many seniors today, assisted living or memory care units are the only option when it comes to getting the day-to-day assistance they require. These facilities offer a very important service for many aging adults, however, these services come at a price.
The average cost for assisted living in the United States is between $2,000-$5,000 per month. Seniors who need memory care and additional services may end up paying even more. Paying this much out-of-pocket, especially after retirement can be nearly impossible for most seniors today, which leaves many wondering what assisted living and memory care costs are covered by insurance?
The first and most important thing to keep in mind is that Medicare will not pay for assisted living. If seniors need to stay in a nursing care facility following a hospitalization, Medicare may cover these costs, but it will not pay for a long-term stay in memory care or an assisted living community. In most situations, Medicare will only cover up to 100 days of care in a nursing home.
Most people will tell you there is no other way to pay for assisted living unless you pay for your expenses out of pocket. However, there are some ways that insurance can help.
Long Term Care Insurance
A long-term care insurance policy is one of the best ways to cover the cost of assisted living. If you are looking for coverage on in-home or private care as well, it is important to note that most of these policies are “facility-only” policies that cover care only in a licensed assisted living community or a skilled nursing facility.
There are also certain requirements seniors must meet in order to qualify for this type of care. Typically, seniors will need to prove that they need assistance with at least two Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as getting dressed and walking in order to get these benefits from their long-term care insurance policy.
As a caregiver for a senior, it is important to look into these long-term care insurance plans earlier rather than later, it can be difficult for a senior, already experiencing dementia to qualify for a policy such as this.
Using Life Insurance for Assisted Living
There are many seniors who actually use their life insurance policy to help them pay for assisted living costs. You can actually cash out the policy, typically for 50 to 75% of its actual value or you can utilize accelerated or living benefits to cover the necessary cost of care.
Typically, in order to access benefits like this, the senior either needs to be in a care facility for their rest of their life or prove that they are terminally ill.
There are some life insurance policies that also feature “life assurance” benefits. These benefits are specifically designed with seniors in mind and allow seniors to use the benefit of a life insurance policy to cover their long-term care payments.
Just because getting insurance to pay for assisted living or memory care can be difficult, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways that insurance can help cover the costs of medication and other health services for seniors who are in an assisted living community. Covering the costs of this type of care can be a challenge for any family, but the more you can do to try to financially prepare now, the better off you and your family will be.