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How to Afford a Home Care Service

When you have a condition that requires treatment and you're wanting to stay in the comfort of your own home, there are many times that home care can be set up to help you with your problem. In the U.S. today, home care is the preferred method of care for many individuals, but one of the things that a lot of people struggle with when dealing with home care is how to pay for the service. There are multiple different ways that are available to people, including certain aspects of Medicare and Medicaid.

Home Health Care Versus Home Care

Before we talk about paying for the service, you should understand what the differences are between home care and home health care. Understanding the difference between the two means that you will be more informed when speaking to medical services so that you know you're getting the care that you need.

Home Health Care

Home Health Care is normally set up at the end of illness or condition when the person needs the care of an occupational therapist, physical therapist, registered nurse, or other types of medical professionals. This type of care is often prescribed because of the person’s hospitalization and will be included as a part of their care plan

Home Care

Home Care is normally set up for people with special needs such as personal care, getting dressed, helping with bathing, washing hair, and so on. This type of care is not performed by licensed medical professional. It is typically performed by Home Care Aides and sometimes CNAs.

Types of Financial Assistance for Home Care

While home care is important, it can be paid for in different ways. Some insurances will even cover home care if it is prescribed by the doctor. If you're interested in rather or not your insurance covers this type of care, contact your insurance company and they should be able to give you a detailed list of services that are paid for.

Medicaid

Medicare is not the only healthcare system that is prevalent in America today, especially if you're looking for home care. Medicaid is health coverage that was created by the federal government and funded by the federal and state governments jointly. This insurance is usually used by low-income children, adults, elderly adults, people with disabilities, and pregnant women. With Medicaid, the states control the administration of the insurance, but they have to follow federally created guidelines. In America today, there are roughly 66 million people covered by Medicaid. This plan includes Medicaid waivers also known as HCBS waivers, 1915 waivers, and a Community First Choice option that is a new program. State planned Medicaid is considered an entitlement program meaning that anyone who meets the requirements will receive services.

Medicare Benefits

Medicare having been set up in the 1960s, has become the largest government-run healthcare system in America. There are different parts to Medicaid that cover different aspects of care. Medicare Part B is the medical insurance part of the original Medicare and it covers things such as medical supplies, Outpatient Care, ambulance services, preventive services, and certain types of durable medical equipment. Medicare Part B does not, however, cover hospital stays, hospice care, or care in a Skilled Nursing Facility.

Medicare part A is the hospital insurance part of Medicare. It covers skilled nursing facilities, hospital stays, but it also covers some aspects of home health care. The thing is with this type of insurance is that the home health care has to be prescribed by a doctor for short term rehabilitation or something similar to it.  

While each state has the ability to create its own parameters for the use of Medicare, the system is set up for individuals that are low income and unable to afford such care for themselves. If you're interested in finding out more information about Medicare, you can contact them or visit medicare.gov and they should be able to answer all of the questions you have pertaining to this insurance.

Programs for Veterans

If you are a veteran and you're trying to pay for home care, there are other options that will help you pay for this type of care so that you can be treated from the comfort of your own home. The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has set up several programs that are designed to help veterans afford home care. If you fall under the eligibility for this type of help, home care can be paid for using three different types of pension benefits. Depending upon how much help you need, you could be eligible for the upper benefit amount. If your interested in more information about the pensions and what they do, visit www.payingforseniorcare.com or contact Veteran Affairs with any questions you might have.

Non-Medicaid Programs

While most of the programs that will pay for in-home care are federal, many states have programs set up to assist with this type of care as well. These programs are used to delay or simply prevent individuals that are needier from having to use skilled care facilities. In some cases, there are even more than one program that the state has set up so that it can help pay for in-home care for individuals that are eligible. These programs will pay for things such as assisting with Adult Day Care ot assisting with room modifications so that individuals will be allowed to remain in their own home. It will help the families that are caring for these individuals by making sure that they can afford the care that they need.

Different Options 

If the above-mentioned programs don't suit what you're looking for, there are various other types of help out there for people that need In-Home Care. You don't have to use insurance to pay for the In-Home Care. Think of it this way, if you reduce expenses in other areas, you will have that money put towards In-Home Care. Programs like LIHEAP is a fixed income program that can help with the costs of heating and cooling in an elderly person's home. This particular program is designed more for low-income seniors and it has to be submitted before a specific deadline. There are also non-profit organizations that can lend care and financial assistance to individuals with certain conditions.

Self Payment Options

If you do not fall under the purview of low-income, there are other options available to you other than the ones listed above. Many people do not want to pay for services out of pocket, but in certain situations it is acceptable. However, there are individuals that do not fall under the low-income umbrella, but they still can't afford to pay for home care out-of-pocket. If this is the case, there are different things that you can look into to help with the cost. Reverse mortgages, life insurance conversion, Homecare loans, and long-term care insurance have the potential to help you afford the home care you or your family member may need.

HELOC or Reverse Mortgages

Many people have heard of a reverse mortgage, but they're not precisely sure exactly what it is. This type of loan is designed for homeowners that are at least 62 years old. A reverse mortgage uses the equity that you have built up in your home and converts it into usable cash. Typically, these types of loans are set up as a line of credit so that it is accessible by the borrower and they are able to get their hands on the cash in case they need it. 

A HELOC loan is not dissimilar to a reverse mortgage with the exception that with this type of loan you have to make payments. The borrower will still have full access to the funds that are designated to them. Before you rush into either type of loan, do your due diligence and investigate to find out which one would be more suitable for your situation.

Life Insurance Conversions

Many types of term life insurance will have the option to allow the individual to convert to a permanent policy. Doing this gives the individual the ability to have life Insurance provided for them for the rest of their lives. However, like with other types of life insurance, they will still have to pay the premium. If you're planning on doing this, make sure that you check out every aspect of the deal. You want to make sure that you don't wind up regretting converting your life insurance so that you can pay for home care.

Insurance for Long-term Care

When buying insurance for long-term care, there are a few things that you should know. This type of insurance is normally aimed at individuals that are over the age of 65. These individuals usually have disabling or chronic conditions and have to have constant supervision. LTC insurance makes the options for care more flexible and the person is able to use more of the public assistance programs that have been set up for low-income people that are needing in-home care.

Homecare Loans

While other methods of payment are preferable, if they are not feasible for you or your family, there is always the Home Care Loan. Home Care Loans are set up so that they make payments directly to the care provider. This type of loan is normally used for long-term situations such as skilled nursing homes, Adult Day Cares, Alzheimer's Residences, and Assisted Living Facilities. While this is not the preferred method, it is an effective way of getting yourself or your loved one the care that they need. The problem is Home Care Loans rely heavily upon your credit rating.

Home Care That is Affordable

One of the hardest things to do when you're looking for home care is making sure that the company is affordable. This is not just a problem from state to state, it could even happen in the same geographical area. Some studies have shown that the price can vary quite a bit from one company to another for the same type of care. Make sure before you decide upon a company that you get quotes from several places. Most places will have a website set up so that you can check the ratings online and cross-reference that with the amount of money they charge for the service. Using this method, you should be able to get the best company for the most reasonable price.

Creating a Financial Plan

If you or your loved one is going to be on home care for an extended period of time, it is important that you create a financial plan. Since most families are paying for home care out of their savings, it diminishes their resources rather quickly. Most programs that are designed to assist these types of individuals are based on their available resources. Because of this, the assistance that is available to these individuals is continuously changing. This means that the longer they need home care, the more resources are available to them.  

Setting up a financial plan has two benefits. The first benefit is that it ensures that you or your loved one will have a consistent/comfortable aging process. The other advantage of creating a financial plan is that it will help by preserving your resources and assets. While financial plans are wise to set up, they can be very complicated and because of it, you will need assistance. In most areas, there are people that can help you with setting up a financial plan. This includes Life Care Managers/Geriatric Care Managers, Public Benefits Counselors, Elder Law Attorneys, and Elder Care Resource Planners. Any of these individuals will be able to guide you through the process of setting up a financial plan that will help you and your loved one live your most comfortable life.

In Conclusion

The hope with this article is that it will help you understand the things that you should be looking into when paying for home care. If you would like more information on the different types of home care or other eligibility options, contact Medicaid/Medicare or visit Medicare's website at medicare.gov. 

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