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“I Thought Medicare Paid for That:” Financial Acumen for Your Aging Parent

Caring for a parent or loved one who is in need of home care can often be a financially arduous and frustrating process. Finding the options available and determining the best fit for your family requires research and understanding the different aspects of financial planning for expenses associated with long-term care. To help sift through the options, we are providing a few facts that every adult child with aging parents should know.

First, it is important to know that an estimated 70 percent of those who reach 65-years old will need some form of long-term care. Long-term care, which is not covered by Medicare, and is only partially covered by Medicaid for qualifying individuals, is an expensive purchase that according to a 2015 report has a median annual cost of $90,000 for nursing facility care; more than $40,000 for home health services; and nearly $20,000 for adult day health care in 2015.

So, what does this mean for you and your family? How do you plan for and afford long-term care for your aging parents?

One of the best ways to plan is to understand long-term care according to AARP. Experts recommend purchasing long-term care insurance. This is an independent form of insurance, purchased using a number of different payment plans, which covers your care in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as for adult day care services, home care, home modification and care coordination. Costs range between $1,300 to $5,000 annually, with the value of benefits reaching between $300,000 and $530,000.

For those that cannot afford long-term care insurance, there are a few support systems which can help adjust your plan and lower your costs.

Veteran aid and attendance benefits

For aging adults who served in the U.S. armed forces, the government provides veteran aid and attendance benefits which provide up to “…$1,794 per month to a veteran; $1,153 per month to a surviving spouse; $2,127 per month to a couple; or $1,410 per month to a veteran filing with a sick spouse,” according to

Reverse mortgage

For aging adults who wish to stay in their home but do not have the funds to afford home care, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development suggests considering a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. This ‘reverse mortgage’ allows aging adults to leverage and use equity stored in their homes.

Life insurance conversions

For aging adults who have recently developed health complications that prevent them from qualifying for traditional life insurance, there are options available to convert term-life insurance into a permanent life insurance policy without having any evidence of insurability. For more, visit here.

At Open Arms Solutions we work with you to set up a financially sound plan for your long-term care. We work with families who pay out of pocket and who purchase long-term care insurance and we have also worked with families who don’t have the means to afford care. We understand the long-term care field and know the third-party organizations to contact like the Community Care Program at the Illinois Department of Aging.

To educate yourselves on long-term care and to work with compassionate professionals who care about helping you create home care and a financial plan that works, visit Open Arms Solutions at or call (847) 272-4997.

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