Does Medicare Pay for Assisted Living?

Posted at Aug 26, 2014 | 166 Comments

Frequently Questions about the Cost of Assisted Living in Michigan

Cost of Assisted Living in Northern Michigan

If you are an adult child who paid a visit to an aging parent’s home this summer, you may have been surprised by the decline in their health. It may have forced you to begin to explore the idea of a senior living community for them. If so, the cost of care may be a concern. How much assisted living will cost is almost always one of the first questions family caregivers ask. In Michigan, the average cost of assisted living in 2014 average is just under $2,900. The second question that often comes up is whether or not Medicare will pay for assisted living. Unfortunately, the answer is “no.”

For adult children and family caregivers, searching for assisted living care can create a “sticker shock” experience. But if you add up how much a senior loved one is really spending living in their own home, you will probably surprised at how much it truly costs. Even when their mortgage is paid in full, taxes, maintenance, snow removal, lawn care, utilities and more add up quickly. If a parent needs help with transportation, medication management, laundry, meal preparations and other activities of daily living, they may be spending close to or more than the cost of assisted living care already.

Resources to help pay for assisted living in Michigan

Besides private family funds, other potential financial resources to explore include:

  • The Aid & Attendance benefit for Veterans and their surviving spouses is often a program families aren’t familiar with at all. For those who qualify for the Aid & Attendance level of Pension, the maximum benefit in 2014 is:

Surviving Spouse of a Veteran: $1,130

Veteran with no Spouse or dependent children: $1,758

Married couple where the Veteran requires care: $2,085

Veteran is healthy but Spouse requires care, Veteran qualifies for Income Improvement Pension: $1,380

  • If your senior loved one has long-term care insurance it may also include assisted living. Families sometimes think it only covers a nursing home and overlook that part of the benefit. Review their policy to be clear.
  • Seniors with a life insurance policy can liquidate through a life settlement company for a rate that is less than face value but higher than the policy’s surrender value.
  • More states, including Michigan, have made Medicaid funding available to help pay for care. Lawmakers have come to understand that it is often more cost effective to pay for a Michigan senior to move to assisted living than to a nursing home. In Michigan the program is called, MI Choice. You can learn more by visiting the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) online.

For more information on how to finance assisted living care in northern Michigan, visit Paying for Senior Care in Northern Michigan.

Are you exploring assisted living for a family member or friend in northern Michigan?

What is the biggest challenge you have run into?

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