Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living?

Are you or a family member in need of increased help with day-to-day living? Is it becoming unsafe to live at home? An assisted living apartment may be the right choice.

Many people have questions about assisted living and Medicare. Continue reading to learn more about the assisted living model. You will also find the answer to a common question, “will Medicare pay for assisted living?”

What Is an Assisted Living Community?

Elderly Hispanic Man Receiving Rehab Services in Assisted Living HomeLicensing, regulations, and even definitions for assisted living communities vary by state. You may hear them called residential care facilities as well.

Assisted Living services often include help with “activities of daily living”. This consists of three meals a day, medication management, weekly housekeeping, on-site therapy services, and even scheduled transportation.

Depending on state rules, the community may provide some nursing care services. This can include help with taking prescribed medication at the right time and in the correct way.

In general, assisted living provides one level of long-term care services. The goal is to promote the most independent living environment possible. Residents have their own living space with the help described above.

These communities are mostly freestanding. They are also built near or as part of skilled nursing care or even a hospital. This eases the transition to higher levels of care as needed.

One of the most critical aspects of this type of assisted living community is the 24-hour service. This allows residents to go about their daily life with a safety net. It’s less stressful knowing that someone’s there to help if something happens.

Each community has a unique feel, personality, and services. It’s essential to schedule a tour and visit in person. This equips you to find the one that is best suited for your specific needs.

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MedicareWill Medicare Pay for Assisted Living?

Great question.  Most assisted living communities charge for monthly rent. You may also pay other fees for extra services. This leads to the question at hand; “does Medicare help pay for assisted living?”

The answer is no.

Medicare often doesn’t cover expenses associated with assisted living. Yet, Medicare does pay for specific medically necessary care. This includes inpatient hospitalizations, skilled nursing care up to 100 days, and hospice.

Medicare doesn’t pay for routine custodial or personal care. Memory care services are also not covered.

Medicare does, however, help pay for Skilled Nursing Care services.

Popular Options To Help Pay for Assisted Living

Many Americans may not have the extra money to pay for an assisted living community. But do not despair. There are several options to finance these services. Here we list some ideas to get guide you in the right direction.

Life Insurance

Most of us think of life insurance as only being useful when a person dies. Yet, they can provide financial help now.

Ask your insurance agent about the option of cashing out the policy. Many companies will buy back the policy for 50% to 75% of its value. Others will only cash out the policy if the individual is terminally ill.

You may have the option to sell the policy to a third-party company. Most of these companies will pay 50% to 75% value of the policy.

Also, ask if there are accelerated or living benefits. You may hear these called “life assurance benefits” or “life insurance conversion programs”. In this case, the policy owner can change the policy from life insurance to long-term care.

Choosing life insurance conversion often pays about 15% to 50% of the policy value. Even though its less money, it may offer the best option for lower value policies. They may not even offer life settlements.

U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsVeteran’s Administration (VA) Benefits

Any veteran who served at least 90 days or one day during wartime, can receive VA benefits. Veterans with service-related injuries or disabilities should have coverage for assisted living.

The VA also offers “Non-Service Connected Improved Pension Benefit with Aide and Attendance.” This will provide payment toward assisted living costs. If your income is below a specific limit, the veteran and spouse can both get this benefit.

Other Popular Methods to Support Assisted Living

Apply for Medicaid

For individuals with low income and no savings or financial assets, Medicaid can provide help. The states set the rules for Medicaid benefits. They may only pay for room and board at an assisted living community.

Contact your state Medicaid office to find out what benefits you qualify for.

Consider Selling or Renting Out Your Home

This can represent a big and emotional step. Yet, if no one is living in the home, this can provide the money you need.

Use a Long-Term Care Insurance Policy

Most Long-Term Care Insurance policies cover assisted living. Some policies only cover licensed assisted living communities. Be sure to find out what your insurance policy’s rules include.

Take Out a Reverse Mortgage

We’ve all seen the commercial with Tom Selleck promoting a reverse mortgage.  A reserve mortgage involves borrowing money using your home’s equity. This gives you an option if someone is still living in the home.

When the last person leaves home, the loan repayment becomes due. This is often handled by selling the home.

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A Few More Options to Support Assisted Living

Consider a Bridge Loan

A bridge loan is a short-term loan often up to $50,000. This can provide the funding needed to move into an assisted living community. You can then work on selling a property or getting approval for a pension.

If You Can, Pay Out-of-Pocket

The simplest solution, if it’s an option, is to pay using your personal income or savings. You may also cash in 401K plans or IRAs.

Buy an Annuity

To buy an annuity, you pay a certain amount to the underwriters. The company then sends you a regular payment for a certain amount of time. Often, this is for the rest of your life.

The advantage of an annuity is you still receive payments even if the amount you paid is used up.

Searching for the Best Assisted Living Community Near You?

Happy Black Man at Assisted Living HomeWe understand that making decisions about the care for a loved one who isn’t able to live independently is a difficult one. There are emotional and financial concerns.

Many people ask, “will Medicare pay for assisted living?” We hope that this article has answered that question for you, even given you other options to consider.

The Village at Cape Albeon is one of the best-assisted living communities serving St. Louis residents.  We’re proud to offer many programs and services.

We focus on enhancing our residents’ spiritual, emotional, and physical health. In fact, every resident is embraced with a deep appreciation for their unique differences which are respected and treasured.

Spiritual services are available for everyone, including residents and their families, whether non-denominational or Catholic services offering the Eucharist.

We provide blood pressure screenings, health fairs, and great exercise classes.  We have lovely living spaces, beautiful lakeside scenery, and an amazing chef amongst many unique amenities.

Schedule a tour today to experience Cape Albeon for yourself.  You’ll be glad you did.

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