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4 Ways to Pay for Home Care


By Linda Kunicki, BrightStar Care

There comes a time in most people’s lives when age or disability makes it difficult for them to live on their own. When that happens, families often wonder how they will pay for their aging relative’s care. They may contemplate moving the senior to a nursing home that may be paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance. However, that may not be the best option.

According to a survey conducted by AARP, 90 percent of older adults would rather remain in their homes. In addition, many older adults need only a little help to be able to live at home. If your older adult family member needs help, but wants to stay in their house, home care is an excellent option. If you’re considering hiring home care through an agency, you should know that home care services generally are not covered by Medicare because they are non-medical in nature. That may leave you wondering how to pay for the services. The truth is, you have many options. Below are just four ways you can pay for home care.

Private Pay

Private pay means that you or the senior pay the agency directly for their services. You use your own financial resources, such as money in a savings account, money earned through employment, or money the senior receives from Social Security or a retirement plan. You or the older adult will make payments directly to the home care agency according to the agreed upon schedule.

Reverse Mortgage

If the older adult does not have the financial resources to pay for home care, but owns their home, a reverse mortgage could provide them with the money they need. A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that lets people who are aged 62 or older tap into their home equity. They can choose to receive a lump sum of cash or receive monthly payments.

Reverse mortgages are designed to help provide older adults the financial means to age in place. The loan does not have to be paid back while the owner continues to live there. If they move out or the home is sold, the loan must be repaid. The older adult will still need to pay their property taxes, home insurance, and any association fees.

Long-Term Care Insurance

If your aging relative has a long-term care insurance policy, contact the insurance company to see if it covers home care. Some policies do not pay for non-medical services, but others do. If the policy does cover home care, there may be stipulations about the agency’s licensing and the health condition of the senior. The best way to find out if the senior’s long-term care policy will pay for home care is to call the company or the insurance agent and ask.

Life Insurance

Your aging relative may have taken out an insurance policy with the idea of providing for someone after their passing. If the policy is no longer needed, the older adult may be able to access the funds now using an accelerated benefits option. This option is not available on all life insurance policies, but if it is, it can give the older adult access to their death benefits now. In general, a person qualifies for accelerated benefits if they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has a life expectancy of two years or less.

Paying for home care doesn’t have to be worrisome. There are many options available to family caregivers and seniors. It can be helpful for all family caregivers to sit down together, and with the senior if they are able, to discuss payment options.

About Linda Kunicki, CMP, Marketing Director

linda-kunicki-brightstar-careLinda has been with BrightStar Care of Chicago and BrightStar Care of La Grange since 2013. Her background includes a lengthy tenure in health care as well as a strong business background. While her primary focus has been management, training and marketing, Linda has taken on and succeeded at roles in Sales, Human Resources, and Project Management. Every position she’s had has allowed her to fulfil her passion to service others from children to seniors, which gives her joy each day. Her experience has led her to being on the board of the Chicago Chapter of the Case Management Society of America for multiple terms and serving on many committees for Aging Care Connections and local Health and Wellness groups.

Linda’s pathway to BrightStar began as being the caregiver for her mother and grandmother. Her personal experience has given her perspective into the growing need for high quality care in our society, from pediatrics to senior citizens. And she takes great pride in the Gold Seal of the Joint Commission Accreditation earned by BrightStar. It confirms her decision to make this company her employer of choice.

Linda has also owned Shetland Sheepdogs (aka Shelties) most of her life. For many years, she has been involved in activities with Shelties that have guided her to earn championship and performance titles on many of her own dogs and help others do the same.

Linda’s favorite quote:

“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Zigler

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home care in Chicago, IL, or the La Grange, IL areas, please contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care Chicago. Call today: 312-382-8888 or 708-551-2500