As people get older, they often wonder does insurance cover assisted living. People enter into assisted living because they need help with their daily routine, things like bathing, taking medication, cooking meals and managing finances. Since the typical assisted living candidate has an income of under $20,000 per year, most people must tap into additional resources to cover the cost, and many turn to their only option, which is to sell their home.
For a couple trying to finance assisted living care for one spouse while the other remains at home, a reverse mortgage can be a viable option, provided that you are 62 or older. A reverse mortgage allows you to convert some of the equity in your home into cash.
For younger people, if you anticipate the need for assisted living, you might want to look into buying long-term care insurance. This insurance is more affordable the younger and healthier you are at the time of purchase, while you’re still young enough to be eligible for it. If you have been diagnosed with a condition that will require long-term care, you may not be eligible for a long-term care policy.
Plan for long-term care sooner than later
Long-term insurance benefits for assisted living vary widely, from $50 to $300 per day, and if you purchase a so-called partnership policy and your cost of care becomes more than your insurance and income will cover, you may find that you’ll have an easier time qualifying for Medicaid in order to fill the gaps.
These policies are administered through the Long-Term Care Partnership Program, a collaboration involving federal and state governments and private insurers. Keep in mind that, unlike nursing home care, the cost of assisted living is only partially covered under Medicaid. Another issue is that not all facilities accept Medicaid patients, and some state programs cover only certain types of costs and medical conditions.
Good news for veterans wondering does insurance cover assisted living: The Department of Veterans Affairs covers assisted living care for veterans and spouses of veterans who have served at least 90 days on active duty and at least one day during wartime. Applicants must meet a medical qualification test, but their conditions don’t need to be related to military service.