Options For Home Health Care Insurance For Seniors

Home health care insurance helps to pay for medical or support services that elderly individuals need over an extended period of time. For example, if you or a loved one needs home care, assisted living, or nursing home care, home health care insurance will help cover expenses that regular health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid will not cover. Since nursing home care can cost up to $90,000 per year, depending on where you live, purchasing home health care insurance is a smart way to protect yourself and your loved ones from expensive future medical bills.

Weighing the Cost of Home Health Care Insurance

The cost of home health care insurance depends on your health, your age, your location, and the amount of coverage you choose. Generally speaking, the average premium is around $3,000 per year. This sounds like a lot of money, but when you consider that nursing home care costs tens of thousands of dollars per year, it is a smart investment if you can afford it. If you or your loved ones are around age 55, it is time to consider this type of insurance. The older you get, the more expensive your premium will be.

Choose a Flexible Plan Offering Plenty of Alternatives

Be sure to choose a home health care insurance plan that offers financial assistance for skilled nursing care, custodial care, and home health aides. Since most of us would prefer living in our own home as opposed to a nursing home, be sure that your policy offers the patient several home care choices.

Selecting Your Maximum Daily Benefit

The maximum daily benefit is the maximum amount of money the insurer will pay per day for home health care insurance. A daily allowance works best for patients living in a nursing home who have the same, fixed health care cost every day. For most insurers, the maximum amount is usually between $100 and $200 per day (or $3,000 to $6,000 per month).

When selecting your policy and its maximum daily benefit, keep in mind that your home care may not be administered every day. Perhaps you only need home care three times per week. During those three days, you are visited by both a registered nurse and a home aide. Having two helpers in one day may cost more than your policy’s maximum daily benefit. If this is the case, you would have to come up with the extra money out of your own pocket, even though you received no health care aid the other four days of the week.

Talk to your insurer about receiving a maximum daily benefit that is calculated each month. This means that patients receive a monthly allowance (or “pool-of-money”) instead of a daily allowance. This is better for those who have home care on certain days of the week and no care on other days. In the end, select a policy that is flexible enough to account for your needs, whether they are every day or just a few days a week.

Choosing Your Benefit Period

Another home health care insurance option to consider is the benefit period. This is the amount of time the policy will pay for your home health care needs. Though most nursing home stays are less than three years, you will want to purchase the longest benefit period that you can afford. Otherwise, you may be stuck with high medical bills once your benefit period expires.

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