There is one constant across almost all nursing homes: they are expensive. Whether you are looking into nursing home care for yourself or are concerned for a loved one, the cost of quality care can leave a lot of uncertainty toward a person’s future. Don’t hamstring your search for care too early, though. There are options for those in need.
Massachusetts offers several programs and benefits for qualifying elders. It can mean financial support to cover nursing home residency and other vital types of care. Consider the following if you or a loved one are considering the nursing home option.
Before we begin, remember that working with government programs can be complicated, time consuming and frustrating. One of the best ways to get through the process is to enlist the counsel of an elder law attorney. They will make the process as quick and painless as possible.
A short-term solution
Most people have heard of Medicare; it is a government health insurance program for people 65 and older. Medicare covers many things, including doctor visits, hospital care, outpatient services, and most importantly, nursing home care.
While Medicare will cover an elder’s stay in a nursing home, it is not a permanent solution. In most cases, the program will only cover the first 100 days an individual spends in a nursing home. For some this is enough. For example, if a person suffers an injury and cannot care for themselves, this provides them the necessary care while they recover.
A long-term solution
One-hundred days is not enough for many people. When someone needs a long term, or even permanent, stay in a nursing home, that is when concerns about cost really hit home. Costs vary, but nursing home care typically runs roughly $10,000 per month – an impossible amount for most people.
To avoid such a staggering cost, elders can turn to Medicaid, or MassHealth as we call it in Massachusetts. Medicaid is a unique program supported by federal and state power. It allows individuals with limited income to receive the care they need at much reduced or eliminated cost to them.
You may have seen our previous post which answered the question: Do you qualify for MassHealth?. If so, it can be a major boon. MassHealth can cover virtually the full cost of nursing home care; up to 99.9 percent.
If you or someone you care about are in need of nursing home care, remember these two resources. Medicare and MassHealth can make a major difference for those who qualify.