It is a common misconception that Medicare or private insurance will pay all or part of the cost of senior assisted living. Generally speaking, residents use their own private funds to live in an assisted living facility. However, there are some programs that will assist qualifying individuals with this cost. A brief summary of these resources is listed below.
For Veterans and Surviving Spouses
The “Aid and Attendance” program through the Veterans Administration is a non-service-connected benefit. It is designed to help veterans or their surviving spouse receive the financial support necessary to ensure their continuing care in an assisted living or nursing home setting.
In 2019, the pension will pay up to:
- $2,230 per month for a veteran with a spouse
- $1,881 per month for a single veteran
- $1,209 per month for a surviving spouse
For general requirements and to find assistance for applying, click here.
Long-term Care (LTC) Insurance
Long-term care (LTC) insurance is coverage that provides care for individuals above the age of 65 or with a chronic or disabling condition that needs constant supervision, such as that provided in assisted living facilities. LTC insurance is costly, and the older a person is when they purchase the policy, the more it costs.
The person who purchases an LTC policy must choose how much the policy pays upon a qualifying stay in a facility, how long the policy will continue to pay, and the length of the elimination period (how long you must pay privately until the policy kicks in). There are many types of LTC policies and many options within those policies. Choose a reputable insurance company when considering an LTC policy.
Government Sponsored Assistance (Medicaid)
The Medicaid program for low-income Americans is funded jointly by individual states and the federal government. Medicaid programs vary state by state. In Arkansas, the Medicaid program for Assisted Living is the Living Choices Waiver program.
It is important to know that there are several Medicaid programs and that having qualified for one program does not qualify someone for a different Medicaid program. For example, someone who qualifies for long-term care Medicaid in a nursing home must submit an application for a Living Choices Waiver before moving to an assisted living facility.
Legacy Village Assisted Living, along with sister facility, The Gardens at Osage Terrace, are two of the limited number of assisted living facilities in Northwest Arkansas that accept the Medicaid Waiver. For more information on how to apply, please contact our office at 479-271-2387.
Using Life Insurance
Two little-known ways to use a life insurance policy to help defray the cost of assisted living are the Accelerated Death Benefit and the Viatical Settlement.
An Accelerated Death Benefit (ADB) allows a life insurance policy owner to receive a portion of their death benefit from their insurance company in advance of their death. In most cases, the policyholder must be terminally ill, usually with a life expectancy of two years or less. They must continue to make their policy’s monthly payments while receiving benefits. Refer to your insurance policy for this provision.
A Viatical Settlement is an arrangement whereby a person with a terminal illness sells their life insurance policy to a third party for less than its mature value, in order to benefit from the proceeds while alive. For more information, search the internet or local directory for a Viatical Settlement Broker.