Senior Citizens Concerned On How To Pay For Medical Care
Senior citizens are concerned as to how they will pay for their medical care. These expenses can use up a significant part of monthly income, even for families who thought they had saved enough during their working years.
Indeed, paying for long-term care—whether delivered at home, hospital, or nursing home, often depends on the services needed. Often, they must rely on a variety of sources, including personal funds, government programs, and private financing options.
Below we list several of the funding sources that are currently available to seniors:
Senior Citizens: Personal Funds
Many older adults pay for care in part with their own money. They can use personal savings, a pension or other retirement fund, or income from stocks and bonds. Depending on their health, they may sell their home and use the proceeds to pay for their health care.
Specifically, much of the home-based care is paid for using personal funds. Initially, family and friends often provide personal care and other services, such as transportation, for free. But as a person’s needs increase, paid services may be needed.
Senior citizens can also pay out-of-pocket to participate in adult day service programs, meals, and some types of community-based services. These services are provided by local governments and nonprofit groups.
Senior Citizens: Government Programs
Older adults are eligible for some government healthcare benefits. Caregivers can help by learning more about possible sources of financial help and assisting seniors in applying for financial aid. Much of this information is readily available on the Internet.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offers several programs. Over time, the benefits and eligibility requirements of these programs can change. Therefore, it’s important to check with CMS on the programs available in your area.
Medicare is a Federal Government health insurance program that pays some medical costs for people age 65 and older, and for all people with late-stage kidney failure. It also pays some medical costs for those who have gotten Social Security Disability Income for 24 months. It does not cover ongoing personal care at home. Here are brief descriptions of what Medicare will pay for:
Medicare Part A:
- Hospital costs after you pay a certain amount, called the “deductible”
- Short stays in a nursing home for certain kinds of illnesses
- Hospice care in the last 6 months of life.
Medicare Part B:
- Part of the costs for doctor’s services, outpatient care, and other medical services that Part A does not cover
- Some preventive services, such as flu shots and diabetes screening.
Medicare Part D:
- Some medication costs
You can find more information about Medicare benefits at www.medicare.gov, or call 1-800-633-4227, TTY: 1-877-486-2048.