Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that causes memory loss and results in a severe decline in brain function. The families of those affected by Alzheimer’s often struggle to pay for the expensive care that patients require. According to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, annual out-of-pocket healthcare costs for Alzheimer’s patients average about $10,315. In addition, a long-term stay in a memory care facility can run you about $3,600 per month.
Wondering how to cover the cost of Alzheimer’s care? The following tips will help you and your loved one manage their medical bills.
Research Care Options
Does your loved one really need to move into a memory care facility right away? Do they need the kind of care that only a skilled in-home nurse could provide, or can you and your relatives meet most of their needs with minimal help? You may not have to pursue the most expensive options right now. Instead, consider more affordable alternatives for the time being.
For instance, could you hire a caregiver for just a few hours each day for some extra assistance and respite? Would your loved one benefit from spending a couple of days per week at a reasonably priced adult daycare center? For recommendations on the best providers, get in touch with a local support group for loved ones of people with Alzheimer’s. Other people who are in your position can point you in the right direction.
Go Over Health Insurance Coverage
If your loved one is on Medicare, their health insurance plan should cover outpatient care services like physical and occupational therapy. If they are enrolled in Medicare Part D, their policy will also cover most prescription drugs. According to eHealth Medicare, they may be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan, some of which provide coverage for additional care coordination services. However, they cannot fund their time in a long-term care facility through a Medicare plan.
Once your loved one’s assets have been sufficiently depleted, they will become eligible for Medicaid, which can help cover the high costs of a memory care facility. Generally, their income will also need to be below or equal to the federal poverty level to enroll.
Does your loved one need additional funding for nursing home fees before they qualify for Medicaid? They may be eligible for certain grants or other programs. According to Elder Law Answers, if your loved one is a veteran, they might be able to utilize Aid and Attendance pension benefits, which are provided by the Veterans Administration.
Even if your loved one has never served in the military, you’re not out of options. Do some research to see if your state has any assistance programs for Alzheimer’s patients. If so, you could apply for a grant or loan. Furthermore, you can contact various nonprofits about your situation to discuss your financial options. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are relatively common amongst seniors, so there are many organizations to support families who need help. Don’t hesitate to reach out.
Enroll in Burial Insurance
No one wants to think about their own mortality, or saying goodbye to someone they love. But now is a good time to think about coverage for end-of-life expenses. You and your loved ones should strongly consider purchasing burial insurance, which can help finance funeral expenses, and some of these policies will cover unpaid debts like medical bills and personal loans. Take some time to think about the cost of your potential funeral arrangements and how much additional coverage you would want to cover other expenses before enrolling in a policy.
Figuring out how to pay for Alzheimer’s disease care can feel overwhelming. Although long-term care for Alzheimer’s patients is generally quite expensive, there are plenty of ways to ease the financial burden. At the end of the day, what’s most important is providing your loved one with the care they need at a price you can afford.
Guest Post by Kent Elliot.