Paying for Care in Montclair & Hasbrouck Heights, NJ
There is a plethora of choices available for senior care and they can be funded in different ways. The cost of senior care is primarily dependent on the type of services & level of care needed.
Senior care can be broadly divided into medical and non-medical care; the non-medical part provides personal care and companionship, and medical care includes skilled nursing care in a nursing home (or at any other senior housing facility, if needed).
When it comes to long term care, people often are misinformed about the coverage provided by Medicare. Even if you qualify for Medicare you will get limited coverage (Part A) and have to pay a monthly premium amount to get other benefits. Part A of the Medicare provides a maximum cover of only 100 days for skilled nursing care; in fact, you have to start paying from the 21st day itself and after 100 days, all the care expenses.
In 2010, nursing care in the US was somewhere in the range $ 6,100- $ 6,300 per month and in 2015 nursing care in New Jersey has reached $ 9,600- $ 9,800 range. Generally, in-home care services are appreciably less expensive than nursing care; though, their costs do vary depending on the area, level, & hours of care required.
To give an insight into senior care funding, some of the common options are discussed below.
As discussed earlier, Medicare doesn't pay for long term care (if it includes only custodial care: help with activities of daily living) as it is mostly directed towards short-term skilled care such as skilled nursing care. Subjected to eligibility, it can pay for care in a long-term care hospital, certain home health services (if your physician certifies that they are medically necessary and reevaluates it after every 60 days), hospice care, and respite care.
Medicaid & State Funded Programs
When it comes to coverage, Medicaid is more comprehensive than Medicare, is not restricted to age, and is available to anyone who fulfils certain general & financial conditions. Generally, people who are receiving benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program are eligible for Medicaid as well. Medicaid can provide home health services and personal care services (help with activities of daily living) through its home & community-based services (HCBS), though, it requires you to first pass the functional eligibility criteria. Many states provide long-term care through Medicaid even when the financial eligibility criteria is not met provided the person to be covered falls under the special income level group.
Long-term Care Insurance (LTCI)
Though an expensive option for long-term care, LTCI can save you from an ever-growing mountain of bills if you fail to get the required benefits under Medicaid or Medicare. LTCI is quite specific in its coverage that is extended to personal care and skilled care only. However, it can cover these services at various places such as assisted living facilities, home, adult day care, nursing homes, etc. Skilled care mentioned here refers to medical services such as nursing (RNs) and therapy (occupational, physical, speech, etc.) that are provided by medical professionals but do not require constant supervision by a physician.
It is important to mention here that for most LTCI policies, the premium amount increases with the age of the policyholder and if you have a pre-existing health problem, then it will become harder for you to find a good insurance deal. Before you purchase a long-term care insurance make sure to check for things such as coverage amount, care services covered, inflation protection, type of policy (fixed or variable rate), duration of waiting period, etc.
Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a pension benefit to the qualifying veterans (or, surviving spouse) known as Aid and Attendance that can help in paying for care at home, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes. The maximum monthly benefit depending on who is receiving it could range from $ 1,149 to $ 2,837. Apart from financial & medical qualifying conditions, the veteran requesting this benefit must have served at least 90 days of active military duty which must include at least a day during wartime.
Paying for Long-term Care Yourself
As LTCI is expensive, and Medicaid & Medicare have strict eligibility criteria for coverage, many seniors have to pay for long-term care themselves. Here, the cost of LTC will be contingent on the level of care (medical, non-medical, or both) needed. You can get a fairly good idea about how much you need to save by researching costs of various senior housing options such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement community (CCRC), etc. Cost of in-home care is generally lower than these senior housing options but may vary according to the required level of care, type, and duration (hourly, weekly, or 24/7). Also, take into account the cost of home safety improvements that will make living independently at home a lot safer and easier.
Does a Family Caregiver Needs a Professional Caregiver?
As a family caregiver you may think that in-home care is expensive and try to do everything on your own. However, it is important to consider many crucial points such as excessive amount of time & energy spent in caregiving and financial sacrifices made thereof. Helping your loved one with the activities of daily living; going with them or arranging transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, senior center, etc.; housekeeping, meal preparation, etc. will take a large chunk out of your time on a daily basis. If you have a job or children to take care of, then it will become increasingly difficult to manage everything. Being late for important office meetings, not been able to concentrate on your work, and taking too many days off work to take care of your loved one will put your job in jeopardy.
Neglecting other important things in your life will impact you physically, emotionally, and financially. Taking help of a reputed in-home senior care provider will assist you to better manage your time as well as allow you to have more control on the caregiving activities.
At Comfort Keepers we understand that when it comes to people you care about, you will have numerous doubts to clear before you make a decision regarding the senior care. If you have any questions regarding in-home senior care services, please feel free to call us today Call us today at (973) 707-2310.
Comfort Keepers® provides in-home care services in the following areas in NJ:
Maplewood, Short Hills, Millburn, Rutherford, Roseland, Hackensack, Essex Fells, Union, Fort Lee, South Orange, West Orange, Montclair, Glen Ridge, Verona, Hasbrouck Heights, Leonia, Ridgefield Park, Palisades Park, Wood-Ridge, Bogota, East Rutherford, Carlstadt, Moonachie, Teterboro, South Hackensack, Clifton, the Caldwell, Vauxhall and the select surrounding areas in Essex, Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Union, Morris and Middlesex counties.