While there is a lot of anxiety about nursing homes in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, most facilities are working hard to keep residents and staff members safe. Additional safety precautions and protocols have been instituted in nursing homes across the country, and nursing homes are still a great option for aging individuals who require some amount of assistance and care. However, as you consider your options for yourself or your aging parent, you may be concerned about the financial aspect of nursing home care. Many facilities can be expensive, but there are ways to examine your finances and determine a sound plan for affording care. Let’s take a closer look at some steps you can take today to ensure that you can afford a nursing home when the time comes.
Step 1: Understanding the Costs
Initially, the cost of a nursing home can seem exorbitant; according to recent estimates, the average cost of a nursing home in Washington state is $266 per day. This amount adds up quickly, costing upwards of $90,000 a year. However, think of all of the services that are attached to this price: lodging, food, assistance with bathing, dressing, eating, and medical care by trained professionals. Many people see this cost and immediately look elsewhere for more affordable options, though there are ways of seeking financial assistance to ease the financial burden.
Step 2: Exploring Medicare and Medicaid Benefits
In some cases, Medicare may cover some of the costs of a nursing home stay. Usually, Medicare will cover some costs associated with your rehabilitation (up to 100 days of care per benefit period, in most cases), but it will not pay for long-term care. For low-income individuals, Medicaid can step in to cover nursing home costs. There are strict eligibility requirements, so it’s helpful to consult an experienced elder law attorney to determine whether Medicaid could be a viable option for you.
Step 3: Planning Ahead
The sooner you begin planning for long-term care, the more options you’ll have for obtaining financial assistance. For instance, you can look into long-term care insurance or your private health insurance plan to see how they may be able to shoulder some of the financial burden. However, if you haven’t put these policies in place before a large-scale health event transpires, they may not be available to you. Speaking to a knowledgeable elder law attorney about your options is a good idea, as they can provide you with a variety of options that you might not have considered.
To learn more about your options for planning for long-term care in the Spokane Valley area, reach out to the dedicated legal team at Legacy Law Group at (509) 315-8087 today.