Nursing Home Costs

Nursing home costs vary substantially depending on the type of facility and the care that is required by the patient. Prices generally range from $3000.00 - $6000.00 a month. There are also nursing homes that cost more than this and some that cost less. The levels of care that are offered and the location of the nursing home primarily determine nursing home costs. Nursing homes that offer a variety of care options are usually more expensive than those that don't. There are also excellent facilities that are partially subsidized that are cheaper. The best nursing homes often have waiting lists to join.

Nursing home patient out-of-pocket-costs are also determined by a person's ability to pay for care and the types of insurance that they have available to them. Medicare pays almost nothing related to basic custodial care in a nursing home. Yet if a patient's health is very poor, Medicare will pay for some skilled nursing home care and some at home care. Provided a person meets the means test, Medicaid will pay for most nursing home costs in a Medicaid approved nursing home. People with assets are required to spend down those assets before Medicaid will pay for the costs of a nursing home.

Different Ways to Pay for a Nursing Home

Beyond Medicaid and Medicare nursing home costs can be paid for using several additional types of insurance. The best of these is called long term care insurance. Many long-term care insurance policies incorporate several choices as to the type of facility and levels of care they will pay for. Long-term care insurance premiums are generally cheaper the younger you are when you sign up for them. As you get closer to needing to use the care, the costs of long-term care insurance increase significantly.

There are also several unique financial instruments available that can help a person pay for the costs of nursing home care. These include nursing home care bundled together into life insurance policies and annuities. Reverse mortgages is another way to help pay for nursing home care. With a reverse mortgage a lien is placed against a property in exchange for cash. This cash can be used for the nursing home and later the heirs of the estate will be responsible for paying back the lien through the sale of the property.

Supplemental insurance is another way to help pay for the costs of a nursing home facility. Supplemental insurance, also known as Medigap, pays only for skilled nursing care. However, instead of only 20 days with supplemental insurance an additional 80 days of free care is available if it is needed.

In summary, controlling the costs associated with nursing home care starts with good planning and foresight. For example, if you have Medicaid and you are fairly certain that you will need to go into a nursing home in the next few years you can do the research now and sign up to get on the waiting lists at the best places. If your turn comes around then you at least have a suitable option that you like. Similarly, if you have assets the costs of nursing home care can be substantially reduced through the use of long-term care insurance. Each person has a unique situation and there isn't a single best solution for paying for a nursing home. The only certainty is that nursing home care is likely to become more expensive in the future and this means a little research and planning now may be a wise choice for most people.