5 Ways to Manage Expenses of Nursing Home Care

Although nursing home facilities can be a very expensive option for seniors, it is often the only choice. The health and safety of aged individuals are compromised by living alone and such facilities have skilled nurses and essential arrangements to ensure their comfort and security. It is definitely more cost effective to engage a nursing home’s services rather than a full-time private nurse. Nevertheless, managing the bills of a nursing home can be a headache. The average price range of a nursing home facility can be around $250 to $350 per day. This easily adds up to $80,000 to $120,000 every year, not including a private room. Fortunately, there are options that can help one deal with the expenses of such nursing services, like the ones given below.

  • Medicare
    This federal insurance is designed for seniors above the age of 65 and reimburses the cost of nursing home care for a limited number of days. To avail Medicare, one needs to be admitted in a care facility for at least 3 days. This is a viable alternative for seniors who need the assistance of full-time nurse for a short-term stay to recuperate from issues like a cardiac condition, hip fracture, or stroke. Apart from medications, medical supplies, and treatments, Medicare also covers the expenditure for physical therapy, occupational, and speech therapy on an inpatient basis. They will also pay 100% of the total bill for the first 20 days after which the seniors will be responsible for a co-payment.
  • Medicare Advantage plans
    Also known as Medicare Part C, the Advantage plans are offered by a private group of insurance companies instead of the federal government. One doesn’t need to be admitted for a minimum number of days in a nursing home care to benefit from this plan, but it mandates prior authorization before the bills are covered. The nursing home facility has to thus send the medical files of the patient to the insurer for a review. If the file is not sent or approved, the senior won’t be reimbursed for the cost of the nursing home care.
  • Medicaid
    This a joint initiative by the federal and state authorities to manage medical costs for seniors with limited income and resources. However, not all nursing facilities accept Medicaid. This makes it essential for one to make all the necessary inquiries before settling on a facility. Likewise, the eligibility of Medicaid varies across states, so all the terms and conditions should be perused and compared with Medicare, Advantage plans, and long-term insurance plans.
  • Long-term insurance
    This type of coverage pays expenses of a nursing home facility for a stipulated amount of time. The premiums and deductibles of long-term insurance vary considerably based on the length of coverage an individual wants. Most companies offering such insurance might exclude or increase the cost of premiums specifically for conditions like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, Parkinson’s, certain cardiac diseases, and some psychotropic medicines. It is advisable to apply for this insurance when one is younger and healthier as the out-of-pocket costs will be cheaper.
  • Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance
    If one is a veteran then they can seek financial assistance via the Veterans Administration for covering their nursing home facility costs. One hiccup is that the application for reimbursement might take 3 months to process. Post-approval, the patient will be eligible for a monthly benefit.

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