Paying for In-home care

Paying for in-home care for yourself or a family member can be expensive, especially as it is likely to be a long-term financial commitment. However, you may be surprised at the number of options available and different ways to cover the cost.

Which one you choose will depend on your or your loved one's personal and financial circumstances but in time, most people find that they need to rely on a variety of payment sources including personal funds, government programs, and private insurances. In every case, however, some investigation and forward planning is required to get the most out of the available options to pay for long-term care.

The most common options to consider when paying for in-home care , or planning for a future when you or a loved one will need in-home care include the following:

  • Private pay
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Medicare advantage plan
  • Reverse mortgage
  • Veterans assistance
Let's look at each of these in turn.

Private Pay

Private pay is the way most people pay for in-home care. Money from savings, a retirement account or generated from downsizing a home can all be used to pay for home care. Children or other family members can also contribute towards supporting a loved one at home either by formal or informal agreement.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Private health insurance plans and traditional Medicare don’t cover long-term non-medical in-home care (also known as custodial care) care but there are other private insurance options, such as long-term care (LTC) insurance that fill this gap in care coverage. If you or a loved one has LTC insurance, check with the insurance company to find out what home care services it will reimburse and what 'benefit triggers' it uses to decide if a policyholder has become eligible for payouts. Most policies also have a maximum total benefit they will pay over the lifetime of the policy (a Maximum Benefit Limit). Knowing this will help you decide when to start claiming and also with planning how best to use the benefits over time.

If long-term care insurance sounds like a good option for you, consider purchasing it early, when the insured person is under 60 and still healthy, as this will give you the greatest choice of policies and the lowest premiums.

Medicare Advantage Plans

Most Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) now cover unskilled in-home care services including personal care, medication management, and mobility assistance. They also cover the cost of temporary in-home help after a surgery or help at home after an extended hospital stay to avoid readmissions. Medicare Advantage is a supplemental Medicare plan and most people are only eligible after being approved for traditional Medicare.

Reverse Mortgage

Reverse mortgages are gaining popularity among seniors who have equity in their home and want additional income. They allow homeowners over the age of 62 to convert part of their home equity into a tax-free income without having to sell their home or give up title to it. The borrower must continue to reside in the house and pay all property taxes and insurance. The loan principal and interest are typically paid back from the proceeds of the sale of the home once the last borrower has permanently left the home.

Veterans Benefits

The Veterans Administration (VA) has many financial programs for veterans and their families, some of which can be used to pay for care in the home. Check with the local VA office, or visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, to find out what financial support you or your loved one qualify for.

Planning for the Cost of In-home Care

If you or a loved one’s aim is to age in place, an essential part of the planning is to consider how in-home care will be funded if and when it becomes needed. Talk to a financial advisor specializing in retirement planning to ensure the money is set aside from savings or can be made available from other sources. Consider LTC insurance and look into whether you or your loved one qualifies for Medicare Advantage or VA financial assistance.

In-home Care for Seniors from OndeCare

On-demand, in-home adult and senior care. All the ease and security of an agency with the flexibility and control of private hire.

  • Replace the work associated with finding, vetting, and coordinating schedules with caregivers.
  • Select from a short list of qualified, professional in-home caregivers that match your desired schedule and needs.
  • All OndeCare Heroes are thoroughly pre-screened, background checked and reference checked care professionals.
  • You have full control of schedule, services provided and what you pay.
  • Arrange care in under a day.
  • Get 24/7 concierge support and automated backup if needed.
  • No up-front or subscription fees. Only pay when care is fulfilled.

Ondecare is present in Northeast Ohio, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland.