Paying for Senior Care 101
When finding healthcare for yourself or for a loved one, it is very important to understand which payment method you will be using because it could influence the type of care you are able to receive.
Private Pay: Private pay is exactly what it sounds like. Family, friends or the individual in need pays for the necessary care services with cash, credit card or check. Services can also be paid for using Long Term Care Insurance. VA benefits are also included under private pay. Those who accept VA benefits must provide care for those that qualify.
Medicaid: Through Medicaid, federal and state programs work together to help with medical costs for people with limited income and resources. A person must be approved for Medicaid in order to use services or facilities Medicaid can cover. Medicaid has benefits not normally covered by Medicare like nursing, home care and personal care services. Each state has a specific Medicaid approval process and eligibility. Look into your specific state’s Medicaid program for more information.
Medicare: Simply put, Medicare is health insurance paid for by the government. Medicare functions similarly to the way private companies provide health insurance for their employees—the only difference is Medicare is government funded. While health insurance may only pay for care that you received while staying in a hospital, Medicare takes the process a step further and covers care for a period of time after a patient has been discharged from the hospital.** Have a look at the list below and find the features of your Medicare package:
- Medicare Part A covers hospitalization and (1) short stays at skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers or (2) home health and hospice care when special attention is required like nursing, therapy, wound care, diabetes management, end of life care, etc.
- Medicare Part B covers doctor’s visits, x-rays, and additional care as an outpatient.
- Medicare Part C is also known as a Medicare Advantage Plan. A Medicare Advantage Plan is a plan in which a private company has partnered with Medicare to provide the features of Parts A and B. This plan takes the place of traditional Medicare and each plan is different depending on the company. We encourage you to check your insurance cards and contact Medicare to find out what plan you have.
- Medicare Part D covers medication expenses only.
**It is important to note that Medicare A and B do NOT cover day to day care. Day to day care is long-term care that helps a person with daily activities such as dressing, bathing, getting out of bed, moving around, etc.