Determining how to pay for assisted living for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia can feel like a daunting task.
Frequently, assisted living is paid for out of pocket. People also use a combination of Social Security, Medicaid, Veterans benefits and pensions, reverse mortgages, as well as personal savings. But, how do you cover the cost of assisted living when these options are either not available, or when the cost of memory care exceeds the resources you have on hand?
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is designed to cover extended periods of coverage for long-term health care services and support. Typically, this includes both personal and custodial care in a variety of settings, including your home and in a facility.
Optimally, to save on premium costs, long-term care insurance should be purchased before it is needed. If your family member is already in need of assisted living, which may be caused by a pre-existing condition, they may not qualify for long-term insurance. Long-term care policies that cover pre-existing conditions are rare, however, in some cases, you can obtain a limited amount of coverage or coverage at a higher than standard rate.
Most long-term care policies limit the length of time they will pay for assisted living or long-term health care, typically for two to five years, while fewer insurance policies cover long-term care for as long as you live.
In the Austin, Texas, area, including Round Rock, Texas, several insurance companies offer long-term care policies. To assist you with your search, here are a few options:
- To help people locate long-term care insurance providers and provide financial planning, the Texas Legislature created the Texas Long-Term Care Partnership. Find the partnership here:
Texas Long-Term Care Partnership
Serves Texas, including the greater Austin and Round Rock area
- As a nation-wide independent organization, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance educates and assists consumers with finding long-term insurance. Find the organization here:
American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance
Serves the United States, including central Texas
Aid and Attendance
The Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance program is a supplement to VA Pension Benefits which covers qualifying conditions to veterans including the need for “aid from another” to perform daily personal functions, as well as the requirement for a person to live in a home due to physical or mental impairment. Additional VA aid and contact information can be found here:
- General Aid and Attendance information
- Call 1-800-1000 for additional information (for questions not answered on the website)
- Contact the St. Paul VA Regional Office for the Texas service area 1-844-655-1604
This is often an overlooked option, but a collaborative agreement that includes family contributions may cover part or all the expense of long-term assisted living. This does require consistent efforts from each of the family members to ensure costs are always covered.
When one partner in a marriage requires assisted living care, and the other partner can take care of themselves and still live at home, a reverse mortgage can be a great option. A reverse mortgage is based on the equity in the home and the borrower must be at least 62 years of age. The partner that is well can stay in the home and they can take a lump sum of money or withdraw on a monthly basis to pay for their partner’s assisted living.
Reverse mortgages are insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). To find out more about reverse mortgages, as well as search your area for reverse mortgage counselors, visit HUD’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgages for Seniors web page.
For assistance with long-term care insurance, Social Security and Medicare supplement, planning and financial advice, specialized elder care services, veteran’s benefits, and more, we currently work with:
Tami Martin with Texas Trusted Advisors
Serves the greater Austin and Round Rock area
If your loved one is no longer able to make financial decisions and you need financial help with assisted living, please give us a call today at 512-400-0488, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.