Living with Alzheimer’s disease presents a number of challenges. However, there are some simple solutions for covering the costs of care. Here are some ideas for finding and financing affordable, quality care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
Medicare and Alzheimer’s
Many people are surprised to find Medicare does not cover all the costs associated with Alzheimer’s care. Basically, Medicare is like other health insurances and will cover certain expenses associated with treatment. For instance, when a physician prescribes nursing home care, the first 20 days are covered 100 percent. Then the next 80 days are covered at 80 percent. If someone living with Alzheimer’s needs care in a psychiatric hospital, care is extended for up to 190 days. Medicare does not pay for custodial care, whether in-home or in an assisted living facility. In-home medical expenses and medical expenses incurred while being treated at an assisted living home are covered.
Medicaid and Alzheimer’s
Medicaid is a state and federally funded insurance program to help elderly and low-income people. Because it is administered through state governments, benefits vary in accordance with where you live. Medicaid waivers allow recipients to receive care under a number of circumstances; however, you must financially qualify in order to receive benefits. Many states have additional resources available to people living with Alzheimer’s. You can check with your Area Office on Aging
One way to offset costs is to purchase additional coverage. For example, Humana Medicare Advantage insurance plan offers the same coverage as Medicare (Parts A and B), and some plans include benefits for prescriptions, dental care, vision care, and fitness services. A 24/7 nursing advice line is also available with certain Medicare Advantage plans. Premiums vary across plans, depending in part on what type of plan you choose, which medical facility you visit, and what medical services you require. Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan can mean finding more affordable, quality care, not only thanks to insurance coverage but also by connecting with preferred providers.
What Does Care Cost?
Exactly how much you will pay for care will depend on what kind of care you or your loved one requires as well as where you live. According to Paying for Senior Care, in-home carers don’t normally charge more for those living with Alzheimer’s disease. With that in mind, in-home care normally ranges from $15 to $26 per hour, with the national average at $20 per hour. If you or a loved one lives in an assisted or senior living home, costs for services are approximately $2,525 to $5,745 per month. In 2016, the national average was $3,600 per month. Alzheimer’s care in assisted living communities costs roughly $1,150 more each month.
There are several other options available for covering Alzheimer’s care expenses. The Veterans Administration includes long-term care in their benefits program for veterans and their surviving spouses. There are also three national organizations offering assistance to those living with Alzheimer’s and their care partners: The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, The Alzheimer’s Association, and Hilarity for Charity. For some people, a reverse mortgage is another viable option. For those with life insurance policies, another suggestion is to request a death benefit loan or accelerated death benefits, which basically pays out the death benefit while the policyholder is still living.
Financial Planning for Comfort and Care
Alzheimer’s disease may present challenges to you and your loved ones, but when it comes to paying for care, you have options. Learn what costs are involved and explore your choices. You and your loved ones can enjoy peace of mind and good quality of life with sensible financial planning.