Ashford Insurance

Make the Smart Move and Plan for Long-Term Care

Picture of Sonia Ashford

Sonia Ashford

Sonia Ashford is the owner of Ashford Insurance, an independent health insurance agency specializing in Texas Medicare insurance.

Today we have another guest article. This article is from the author Hazel Bridges. I encourage you to check out her Website and Blog for more informative articles.

Make the Smart Move and Plan for Long-Term Care

Planning for retirement requires more than a pension or 401K. If you want to fully prepare for retirement, you also need to plan ahead for care costs, including long-term care in a nursing or assisted living home. Here are some simple ways to form your plan for long-term care.  

Make the Most of Medicare and Medicaid


For seniors, factoring Medicare into their long-term plans is extremely valuable. For eligible adults, Medicare can take care of a lot of basic medical expenses, but many people are surprised to know that it does not cover care in a nursing or assisted living homes. However, if you plan well for your Medicare coverage, you can put more cash in your pocket to pay for the expenses of long-term care. Medicare Advantage plans are worth your consideration since these plans may help pay for expenses associated with prescriptions, dental care, and vision care. If you are currently eligible for Medicare or will be soon, it’s essential to fully understand how to navigate Medicare open enrollment dates and details. Read up on these enrollment dates so you can plan to have your Medicare decisions made ahead of time. Medicaid is also an option for assisted living/nursing home care, but strict criteria must be met in regard to finances. You may find that you have to exhaust your personal assets before qualifying. Keep in mind that Medicaid is a state-administered program, so criteria and eligibility will vary.

Use a Home to Help with Expenses


If you own a home or two, you can count those assets in your retirement and long-term care plans. Homeowners can use the equity they’ve invested in their property in a couple of ways to pay for expenses. If you need to go into a nursing home and will not need to return to your home, you can sell your house and use the proceeds to pay off your care bills. When selling is not an option, it is also possible to take out a personal loan using your home as collateral. This may be a good option if you or your family can afford the loan payments to avoid losing the home.

Look Into Insurance Opportunities


Medicare may be your best bet when it comes to medical coverage, but it does very little to pay for long-term care costs, especially in an assisted living or nursing home. To pay for the custodial care these facilities provide, you need other options when Medicare doesn’t pay. If you are still in the planning stages, you can think about adding long-term care insurance to your financial plans. Another insurance option seniors and family members overlook is life insurance. Invaluable for covering final expenses, life insurance can also be used when you are paying for unexpected medical and care costs. It’s fairly simple to sell an unwanted policy to get the cash needed, but some restrictions may apply. Before you add extra coverage, be sure to carefully read through the policies so you can understand what you are paying for.

Find Prime Care Without Paying Too Much


When you or a loved one needs to go into a nursing or assisted living home, it’s important to get the best care. It’s also important to pay attention to individual needs. For example, seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia will need more specialized care than those who need long-term care for other concerns. Be sure to fully research facilities before you decide on the best one, but also keep costs in mind as well. If you are limited by insurance and budget, you can still find quality care. You may need to think of other ways to cut costs. If you live in a large city, consider looking in another location for an assisted living center with lower rates. You can also try negotiating with the care center on their prices.

Chances are that you or a loved one will require the care provided by a nursing home or assisted living facility, but Medicare will barely cover the costs. Make sure you are prepared to pay for the care needed by making the smart move and planning ahead for long-term care costs.

About the author: Hazel Bridges is a breast cancer survivor. She hopes to inspire and assist other seniors on their journey to health and wellness in their golden years.

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Picture of Sonia Ashford

Sonia Ashford

Sonia Ashford, “The Medicare Insurance Lady”, has been helping Medicare eligibles in Texas with their Medicare Insurance since 2005.