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How do you pay for the nursing home care a parent requires?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Nursing homes exist for a reason. Many people simply do not have the time or physical ability to provide all of the care an aging loved one requires. As your parents grow older, you may try to help them age in place.

Eventually, many families recognize that they need professional help. Nursing homes are a key means of closing the gap between what support families can provide and the actual support needs of individual adults. When your loved one requires around-the-clock care or simply has more physical demands than you can reasonably meet while also providing for your family, it may be time to look into a nursing home.

However, even if your loved one shares a room with another resident, their care will likely cost thousands of dollars every month. How can your family potentially pay for nursing home care for your aging parents in Pennsylvania?

Through savings

Ideally, your parents will have set aside substantial personal resources to help them cover the costs of nursing home care as they age. Sufficient retirement savings may be all that your family requires to cover their cost-of-living expenses after they move into a nursing home. Unfortunately, given how expensive nursing home care is, many older adults do not have enough reserves in their savings after years of retirement to fully cover their costs.

Long-term care insurance

Some people buy into special insurance that will cover nursing home care costs as they age. Long-term care insurance can pay for nursing home expenses when someone requires such support. However, most people who buy into long-term care policies do so relatively early in life. The premiums for coverage may be cost-prohibitive. Many adults do not have long-term care insurance.

Medicaid benefits

Medicare typically will not cover nursing home costs, but Medicaid can. Older adults who meet very strict criteria for personal property and income can qualify for Medicaid benefits in Pennsylvania. Those benefits can cover the expenses of living at a nursing home.

Advance planning is often necessary to help people quickly qualify for Medicaid without penalties. Ideally, you would help your retiring parents plan for Medicaid at least five years prior to the date that they would need benefits.

Careful estate planning can play a major role in paying for nursing home care. Talking to your parents about their estate plan sooner rather than later could benefit your entire family.

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