How to pay for your care

Commentary by Wesley A. Young

Benefit programs are not just for the poor any more. All taxpaying citizens who meet the eligibility requirements are entitled to receive benefits. With the cost of a nursing facility regularly reaching $85,000 per year, very few Hoosiers can afford to pay for care out of pocket.

Veterans benefits

Myth: Veteran’s benefits can take up to two years to be approved.

Reality: A well crafted, thoroughly completed and hand delivered application can regularly be approved in three weeks to three months.

Most veterans who served during war time and their current or surviving spouses can become eligible for benefits which can pay for in home care, assisted living or nursing home. The tax free monthly maximum benefits are: $1,130 for surviving spouse of a veteran; $1,759 for veterans; and $2,085 for veteran and spouse.

Medicaid nursing home benefits

Myth: Medicaid can take my house, my car, my money and all of my possessions.

Reality: There are several rules that allow for the protection of the majority of a person’s assets. Don’t be misled by misinformation and myths.

Medicaid can pay for the entire monthly cost of a nursing home facility, doctor co-pays, medications, dental, vision and other expenses less a portion of the applicant’s fixed monthly income. There are well over a hundred facilities in central Indiana and most of them accept Medicaid. Under current federal law, private pay and Medicaid residents must receive the same level of care and services.

Whenever you are working with a government agency, you can count on a maze of forms and procedures to gain eligibility. You should only work with a company that specializes in this area of planning and has relationships with local facilities and their staff, as this will help to ensure that the best care is available to your loved one.

Wesley A. Young is president of Senior Solutions Consulting, Inc., 8310 Allison Pointe Blvd., Indianapolis. He may be contacted at 863-0213.

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