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Does Medicare Pay For Independent Living

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Free Resources For Independent Living

Do Medicare or Medicaid Pay for Assisted Living | Senior Living with Syed

Whether you need help with taxes, insurance, finding the right independent living facility, finding out government benefits, there are many excellent resources that can help you for free.

National Council On Aging: This is a trusted association dedicated to helping people aged 60+. This organization works with nonprofit organizations, governments, and businesses for providing community services and programs. Its a great resource to find out senior programs available to assist with healthy aging and financial security.

AARP: This non-profit, nonpartisan organisation focuses on helping people 50+ to improve the quality of their lives. You will find a lot of helpful information around topics such as healthy senior living, senior discounts, and relevant news.

Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly : This organization provides and coordinates all available care types to people age 55+.

Area Agencies on Aging : This network consists of more than 620 organizations across America. It helps local seniors age 60+ and provides them with valuable information and assistance. Many of the local AAA programs include transportation, insurance counseling, nutrition and meal program, caregiver support, etc.

PACE: This is a non-profit community support service organization dedicated to providing support services to adults with disabilities.

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As many as 6 million eligible Americans either dont apply for or dont use their benefits each year, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Many factors contribute to this staggering number, notes Letha Sgritta McDowell, an elder law attorney who practices at Hook Law Center in Virginia and North Carolina.

Its really about comprehending the rules, explains McDowell, who also serves as president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys . Many people dont understand the intricacies of how public benefits work.

Whether Medicaid and Medicare will help with your family members senior living costs depends on several factors, such as your loved ones age, income, and required level of care. It also depends on communities themselves, as some accept Medicaid as a payment method, while others require private pay.

In this article:

Tips For Annual Medicare Enrollment

Because healthcare needs can change so quickly, you want to make sure you have the right kind of Medicare coverage so youll be covered in the event of an emergency or unexpected medical event. Thats why its more important than ever for seniors to keep their Medicare coverage up to date.

Medicare includes an annual enrollment period, which gives you the opportunity to make changes to your coverage. To ensure maximum coverage, you should explore and research the advantages of each type of coverage.

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Other Ways To Pay For Assisted Living

Not everyone can use Medicaid to pay for assisted living. Some might not qualify, and others might be too far down the waitlist to enroll or receive benefits when they need them. When that happens, families turn to other options, like private funding sources, insurance plans or veterans benefits.

Figuring out how to pay for assisted living services can be a complicated process, especially for low-income seniors. To find out more information about what your states Medicaid program covers and whether you qualify, visit

How Much Does Medicare Or Medicaid Pay For Assisted Living

Need help with Medicare Open Enrollment?

Medicare doesnt cover the cost of room and board or personal care in an assisted living facility, but it may pay for a short-term stay in a skilled nursing community for a limited amount of time if certain conditions are met. Some of the covered costs include meals, skilled care, required medication, health care supplies, nutrition counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. There are requirements for eligibility for the skilled nursing benefits which can be found on the Medicare website.

Medicare may cover medical expenses incurred at an assisted living residence just as they would be if they occurred in a physicians office, hospital or in your own home.

Medicaid will not pay for assisted living, but it may cover some of the costs associated with skilled nursing care when no other money is available. Many states will offer long-term care Medicaid beneficiaries some amount of financial help with assisted living costs through waivers. Medicaid regulations change all the time so even if you did not qualify in the past for Medicaid because you had too much money, you may discover youre now eligible for Medicaid nursing home care because the income limits are higher to qualify.

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What Does Medicare Advantage Cost

In most cases, Medicare beneficiaries with Original Medicare dont pay for Part A coverage but have a monthly premium for Part B coverage. In 2021, the standard Part B premium is $148.50. Seniors with Medicare Advantage plans are also required to pay this monthly premium and may also have an additional monthly premium for their specific plan. On average, Medicare Advantage premiums are $21 per month in 2021, and nearly half of enrollees have no additional premium.

What Is The Difference Between An Independent Living Facility And An Assisted Living Facility

Independent living communities primarily focus on serving the social needs of residents, as many are able to live independently without much support. Assisted living communities support those who need assistance with activities of daily living, while allowing residents to live as independently as possible.

What the gov T has for you as a senior?

As a senior citizen, you may qualify for assistance programs that can help with health care costs, nutrition, and access to community volunteer activities and employment opportunities, among other benefits.

What is the definition of independent senior living?

Independent senior living communities are housing designed for seniors 55 and older. Independent senior living communities commonly provide apartments, but some also offer cottages, condominiums,

Also Check: How Much Does Medicare Cost At Age 62

What Assisted Living Costs Does Medicare Advantage Cover

In 2019, Medicare Advantage plans were able to offer non-skilled in-home care, a benefit unavailable prior to that due to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services policy against covering daily maintenance types of care. In-home care benefits vary from one plan to another and may include things like:

  • Nutrition services
  • Personal care services, including tasks like preparing food, dressing and bathing
  • Transportation to medical offices

In many cases, these benefits are limited. For example, non-emergency transportation may only be available a certain number of times per year or within a certain period of time following hospitalization, depending on the policy.

Its also important to note that Medicare Advantage plans dont explicitly cover assisted living. In fact, the purpose of many of the additional benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans is to promote aging in place. However, if it can be established that a seniors home is an assisted living facility, in-home services provided by the facility may be covered.

Does Medicare Pay For Home Care

Does Medicare Pay for Assisted Living or Home Care?

Medicare doesnt pay for long-term home care costs or in-home 24-hour assistance. Similar to Medicares nursing home coverage, the program contributes to short-term home health care services. Medicare Part A and Part B entitle seniors to fewer than eight hours of care per day for a 21-day period. A doctor must prescribe this care and recommend a Medicare-certified agency to arrange and facilitate it.

Medicare primarily pays for treatments that help seniors recuperate from an injury or stroke, such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech-language pathology services

Many families hire a home caregiver to give their loved one companionship or to reduce their at-home responsibilities, like chores and meal preparation. In these cases, Medicare cant serve as a payment method.

Medicare doesnt pay for these aspects of home care:

  • 24-hour supervision
  • Daily tasks like personal shopping, cleaning, and laundry
  • Personal care services like bathing and toileting

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Health & Wellness Opportunities

Physical workout is a vital part of a healthy senior lifestyle, and the best independent living facilities provide plenty of space as well as opportunities to stay healthy. Many of these communities provide swimming pools, fitness clubs, and group exercise classes to enhance the health of senior residents.

Some communities even have special walking trails, tennis courts, and more for those who enjoy exercising outdoors.

What Is The Difference Between Senior Independent Living And Assisted Living

Independent living communities primarily focus on serving the social needs of residents, as many are able to live independently without much support. Assisted living communities support those who need assistance with activities of daily living, while allowing residents to live as independently as possible.

Does Assisted Living take all your money?

For instance, nursing homes and assisted living residences do not just take all of your money people can save a large portion of their assets even after they enter a nursing home and a person isnt automatically ineligible for Medicaid for three years.

How do you pay for independent living?

Ways to Pay for Independent Living

  • Personal funds: Most seniors use their income and retirement savings to pay for independent living.
  • Social Security benefits and pensions: Elders receiving Social Security retirement benefits and other types of pensions can use this income to help cover independent living expenses.
  • What happens to elderly with no money?

    Medicaid is one of the most common ways to pay for a nursing home when you have no money available. Even if you have had too much money to qualify for Medicaid in the past, you may find that you are eligible for Medicaid nursing home care because the income limits are higher for this purpose.

    In which state is long term care the cheapest?

    The 10 Cheapest States For Long-Term Care

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    Alternate Ways To Pay For Assisted Living Costs

    Medicare Part A only covers skilled nursing care and only for up to 100 days. If you need help with other costs of assisted living, you may have other options:12

    • Medicaid: Along with Medicare, Medicaid may help you cover some of the costs of long-term care. Your eligibility for Medicaid depends on your income. This eligibility requirement may vary from state to state, along with the services covered by Medicaid. Visit the

    Can I Give Money Away For Medicaid Qualification

    Medicare Is Independent Living Facility Considered A Home

    No! I had a call recently where Mom/Dad were both coming off of the wait list and were finally going to be able to qualify for Medicaid. The problem was that Mom/Dad had over $70,000 in the bank – which is some $67,000 over the asset limit for a married couple. The representative from the Aging Resource Center told the family that Mom and Dad could give this money away and apply for Medicaid – but that was just plain wrong. You cannot give money away within 5 years of a Medicaid application! Here, an elder law attorney can help legally protect assets and apply for Medicaid – hiring the attorney will more than pay for itself.

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    What Does Medicare Cover

    While seniors cant expect Medicare to cover all independent living costs, depending on eligibility, it can help with certain expenses, including:

    • Hospital insurance: Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing center, hospice care, and select home health care.
    • Medical insurance: Medicare Part B covers services from a doctor, some outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.
    • Medicare Advantage Plans: When in contract with a private company, Medicare Part C offers both Part A and Part B benefits as well as prescription drug coverage.
    • Prescription drug coverage: With Medicare Part D, Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, Private-Fee-for-Service Plans, and Medical Savings Account Plans have prescription drug coverage.

    Furthermore, individuals with Medicare can check the type of coverage they have by reviewing their red, white, and blue Medicare card as well as any other insurance card. For more details on specific healthcare programs and prescription drug coverage, contact information is also always available on those cards.

    Does Medicare Pay For Assisted Living

    Generally, Medicare pays for short-term, intensive care for seniors who have experienced an injury or who are in the end-of-life stage, as determined by a doctor. In contrast, assisted living provides care to seniors who are largely independent but could benefit from assistance with activities of daily living . Given this more limited range of care, Medicare doesnt cover assisted living.

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    Private Pay With Personal Funds

    The first inclination for many people is to pay for care using their own personal income or savings. Perhaps you or your loved one has a pension or other retirement fund, additional income from stocks, or proceeds from selling a home. All these are viable options, but the rising costs of care in 2019 mean a months worth of services could quickly use up whats saved. Personal investment portfolios, like 401 plans or IRAs, can also be cashed in to help pay for care. However, paying out of pocket is often beyond what many people can afford over time.

    What Is Custodial Care

    Does Medicare Pay for Assisted Living? | Senior Resource Connectors

    Custodial carerefers to the nonmedical help you may need to go about your daily life. Examples of this assistance include receiving help to get dressed, get out of bed or use the bathroom. Others include meal preparation or medication management.

    Assisted living facilities offer custodial care to residents who dont require round-the-clock skilled medical care at skilled nursing facilities, also called nursing homes.

    According to the National Center for Assisted Living, there are more than 800,000 Americans residing in assisted living.2 The majority are 85 and older. Some common medical conditions of residents include high blood pressure, arthritis, Alzheimers or dementia, heart disease or depression.

    For those who need additional care, skilled nursing facilities provide skilled nursing and therapy services to treat, manage and observe medical conditions and evaluate care.

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    Other Forms Of Government Healthcare

    Other government-funded programs may also help pay for some long-term care services. However, each program has specific rules about what services are covered, how long you can receive benefits, whether you qualify for benefits, and how much you have to pay out-of-pocket. Moreover, not every assisted living community accepts payments from these programs. Its important to check with your plan and your assisted living community to ensure that your benefits can be used to pay for services.

    Who Is Eligible For Medicare Advantage

    Medicare Advantage plans are available to seniors age 65 and over who are either enrolled in Original Medicare or are eligible to do so. To be eligible, seniors must be legal U.S. citizens or legal residents and have lived in the country for at least five consecutive years. Additionally, they must live within their plans service area.

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    Medicare Medicaid And Long

    Liz Dupont

    Many seniors and their families search for ways to make long-term care more affordable. In some cases, Medicare and Medicaid can help by financing senior health services and some types of senior living. Though not everyone qualifies for these programs, many individuals do potentially reducing their senior care costs.

    How To Find Assisted Living That Accepts Medicare

    Review Your Medicare Coverage During Open Enrollment

    The question of do assisted living facilities take Medicare comes down to the structure and services of the specific assisted living community. Not all assisted living facilities accept Medicare since they might not be able to directly provide the covered medical services. If you want to use Medicare to pay for your medical care while in an assisted living facility, you will need to ensure that the facility has Medicare certification.

    Confirm that Medicare will cover the specific service you need by visiting their website, and work with your doctor to create a healthcare plan. When youre researching assisted living communities, check that they employ the necessary healthcare staff that can directly provide the needed care services.

    When researching retirement communities near you ask if they accept Medicare. Also, look into their payment structure. You will need to separate your medical expenses from personal care services as well as room and board fees. This is easily accomplished if the assisted living facility uses an à la carte payment model, but if they have an all-inclusive payment structure, will they still be able to provide an itemized list of medical services?

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    Long Term Care Benefits

    Medicare is the primary medical care insurance for a large number of seniors. Many are shocked to discover that Original Medicare , also called Traditional Medicare, does not cover costs for most types of long-term care, including Alzheimers and dementia care. When it does pay, it is only in a very limited capacity. While Traditional Medicare is not a long-term care solution, there are benefits for seniors with recoverable conditions on a short-term basis. Also, as mentioned previously, some Medicare Advantage Plans now offer some home and community based long-term care benefits under specific circumstances.

    Skilled Nursing FacilitiesMedicare will pay for 100% of the cost of care up to 20 days at a skilled nursing facility and approximately 80% of the cost up to 80 more days. The care must be for recovery following an in-patient hospital stay.

    Assisted Living CommunitiesMedicare does not cover any cost of assisted living. It will pay for most medical costs incurred while the senior is in assisted living, but will pay nothing toward custodial care or the room and board cost of assisted living. Some Medicare Advantage plans may pay for personal care assistance for persons residing in assisted living or memory care, but will not contribute towards the cost of room and board.

    Adult Day CareOriginal Medicare does not pay for adult day care services, but some Medicare Advantage plans may cover the cost.

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