How to pay for Long-term Care

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Many older adults and caregivers worry about the cost of medical care. These expenses can use up a significant part of monthly income, even for families who thought they had saved enough. So, how do you pay for long-term care? Payment sources may include

  • Personal funds— Much home-based care is paid for using personal funds (“out of pocket”). Initially, family and friends often provide personal care and other services, such as transportation, for free. But as a person’s needs increase, paid services may be needed.

    Many older adults also pay out-of-pocket to participate in adult day service programs, meals, and other community-based services provided by local governments and nonprofit groups.
  • Government programs— Several federal and state programs provide help with healthcare-related costs. These programs include Medicare, Medicaid, Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Private financing— Private payment options may include long-term care insurance, reverse mortgages, certain life insurance policies, annuities, and trusts. Which option is best for a person depends on many factors, including the person’s age, health status, personal finances, and risk of needing care.

Learn more about these payment sources including what the government programs cover, details about private financing options, and ways to find out what benefits may help you and your family

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