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Thursday, May 21, 2020

How to Pay for the Costs of Assisted Living

The cost of assisted living care in the U.S. is increasingly high. The average rent for assisted living ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 per month, with the national average falling somewhere close to $4,000 per month. Few people can afford this, but many older adults need some help living a semi-independent life, but do not require constant monitoring and medical supervision. This means that assisted living is the ideal situation for many aging seniors. How then, do people go about paying for the costs of assisted living? There are several options you may want to explore.

How to Pay for the Costs of Assisted Living

In a perfect world, and a world with unlimited resources for all, everyone would have the necessary amount of income or savings to pay for the costs of assisted living. It is by far the simplest way to pay for these costs, but it is very uncommon for seniors to be able to pay this way. That is why many look to pooling support form their family. In many cases, the family and loved ones of a senior who cannot afford the costs of assisted living will pool resources in order to cover the expense.

For those who have purchased long-term care insurance, this type of insurance usually covers the costs of assisted living. It does, of course, vary depending on the specifics of the long-term care insurance policy. The problem with long-term care insurance is, however, that it is generally only affordable for people who elected to purchase the policy when they were middle-aged or younger. This means that many people do not end up having long-term care insurance or cannot afford to have it when it is closer to the time when they will need to access the policy benefits.

If you are a veteran, you may have veteran benefits available to help cover the costs of assisted living. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers several assistance programs to veterans, particularly veterans who served during wartime or the spouses of wartime veterans. There are benefits available to those with disabilities or who sustained service-related injuries. Another aid program, called “Aid and Attendance,” is available to those veterans and surviving spouses of veterans who are both disabled and have income that falls below a particular threshold.

Medicaid benefits are commonly used to pay for assisted living costs. Specific requirements must be met in order to be eligible for Medicaid benefits. In particular, there is a strict limitation on the amount of income and resources a Medicaid applicant has access to. Be careful if you are looking to qualify for Medicaid by selling or giving away your assets or the assets of a loved one. This is referred to as “Medicaid spend-down.” The government has instituted a five-year look-back period in order to try and stop people from gifting money and other assets specifically to qualify for Medicaid. Spending-down within the look-back period may result in penalties such as disqualification from participating in Medicaid for an extended period of time. It also should be noted that only certain assisted living facilities accept Medicaid and beds for those using Medicaid are often limited. This has resulted in long waiting lists for those facilities who accept Medicaid.

Elder Law Attorney

Assisted living is often necessary and often difficult to pay for. At Monk Law, our team of dedicated and knowledgeable elder law attorneys is here to help you or a senior loved one access those benefits that make it possible for them to be a resident at an assisted living facility. Contact Monk Law today.


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| Phone: 803-594-4453
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