As the life span has been increased, the cost of long-term care has been escalating at an unprecedented pace. The average annual cost of nursing home care was $82,000 in 2016 and is now three times bigger than most seniors’ annual average income.

Care at Home or LTC Community?

How about care at home? Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) data indicates that Medicaid has been spent more on home and community-based long-term care than on institutional care since 2013.

As loved ones consider paying for long-term care, they need to be wary of hidden costs and how paying for this home affects the financial well-being of their spouse. If a person is living in a nursing facility, receiving vendor nursing care, or requesting Home and Community-Based Services (HCB), federal law provides a way to protect some of that person’s assets for a spouse. The law also provides for setting aside income, if needed, for a spouse or dependents.

Ways to Pay

There are mainly four ways to pay the cost: government programs (Medicaid, VA Benefits, etc.), long-term care insurance, private assistance, and personal property. Since there are tremendous options to select within the four resources provided, people are often overwhelmed and seeking help. Thus, we would like to suggest a couple of useful resources to get a glimpse of financial assistance options.

  • Long-term Care Insurance: Prepare yourself for the future. Long-term care insurance policies can reimburse you for care at home and long-term care facilities.
  • Medicare in Missouri: Under Senior and Disability Services, individuals can get financial benefits such as nursing home payments and prescription drugs.  
  • Medicaid in Missouri: MO HealthNet in Missouri helps groups of low-income Missourians, including older adults and people with disabilities, to get benefits for their care at home or institutional care.
  • VA Benefits: If you are a MO veteran, you could have benefits, including healthcare, tax breaks/exemption, and recreation. Please contact Veteran’s Care Coordination (855-380-4400) or Veteran’s Administration (314-652-4100) to discuss assistance options for home and community-based services and long-term care community benefits.
  • Respite funds: Local Area Agency on Aging provides various assistance to older adults and family caregivers. Check out the region map and call your local chapter to ask for further information.

For more information on financial assistance, go to Paying for Senior Care webpage to see more options.

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