As you develop a long-term care plan for yourself or a loved one, several factors must be considered, such as one’s current and future medical needs, family support system and budget. Since 90% of people 65+ want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, in-home care is a popular option.
How much does in-home care cost?
In-home elder care costs depend on where you live as prices can vary greatly by market. According to Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey, the median price for a home health aide is $22 an hour in the U.S. (Note: rates vary by location and types of care; please contact us to inquire about pricing in your area.)
At that rate, it would cost about $45,760 per year for 40 hours of in-home care a week. To compare, the average cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home is $89,292 a year.
Since 2004, senior care (in-home care and at senior living communities) has steadily increased, averaging 1.5-3.8% per year.
Paying for care at home – what are my options?
In-home care is typically paid for out-of-pocket. However, that’s not always the case. Here are eight other ways you may be able to cover long-term care costs:
- Long-term care insurance is a supplemental policy purchased through a life insurance company. Long-term care insurance reimburses policyholders a set amount per day for home care services.
- Veterans Pension provides a home care allowance to qualifying veterans and their surviving spouses. Visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits to learn more.
- Catastrophic auto insurance acts as a personal-injury protection or “no fault” insurance, which can cover home care expenses.
- Workers’ compensation may cover home care costs associated with an illness or accident on the job.
- Reverse mortgages are available to people 62+ who own their home. The funds can be received in monthly installments or a lump sum. Check with your or your loved one’s bank for eligibility requirements, terms and conditions.
- Medicaid may cover home care services through a waiver program, which varies by state. The waiver programs are often coordinated through Area Agencies on Aging. Contact us to see if we participate in a waiver program. It’s important to note, Medicare does not pay for long-term home care services. Medicare covers short-term home health care prescribed by a physician. These services include skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Assistance with bathing, feeding and other personal care may also be provided while a person is receiving home health care.
- Area Agencies on Aging provide a variety of services (including in-home care) to adults 60 and older. Services provided through local agencies are determined by performing a community needs assessment and vary by location. To find your local AAA, go to www.eldercare.gov and search by your ZIP code or call 800-677-1116 to speak with a specialist.
- Family funds can be set up among siblings and other family members to cover the cost of home care for an aging parent or relative. Be sure to clearly spell out the terms of the agreement and consult an elder law attorney for guidance.
Paying for in-home care services is just one part of the long-term care process. Check with your or your loved one’s insurance about coverage or contact us for a free insurance eligibility verification. For additional information about in-home care, download our free e-book: The Ultimate Home Care Planning Guide and let ComForCare and At Your Side Home Care help you live your best life possible.
If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation, call 800-886-4044.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published July 26, 2016. It has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.