Who’ll Foot My Bill When I’m Older?

Who’ll foot my bill when I’m older? 

If you need long-term care someday, who will pay for it?

1. The government?

2. Your health insurance?

3. You, out of pocket?

Okay, in reality, there’s no simple answer, but rather a growing need to consider every option. The stake in getting the answer wrong are high, given the costs for long-term care.

Defining “long-term care” for Senior and elderly

Covering Costs for Long Term Elderly Care Medicaid

care to people who can longer provide for themselves due to health conditions. Today’s care providers include nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, home health services and adult day care centers.

Below is a summary of current payment options for long-term care for elders:

Preparing for long term care for senior and the elderly



Many people assume that this federal health insurance program will pay for long-term care. But Medicare benefits are limited and based on certain conditions. Medicare will pay 100 days of post-acute care (such as that required for a fractured hip or stroke) in a nursing home or rehabilitation center if the person was hospitalized for three days immediately prior to entering the facility. It will also cover some part-time rehab or skilled nursing services at home when directed by a physician.


This federal and state program also comes with restrictions — primarily financial Applicants must have relatively low incomes and marginal personal assets (such as savings accounts or investments) to qualify. Medicaid benefits cover the cost of services in nursing homes, rehab centers and assisted living facilities. Other limits: payment for health services varies by state and occasionally some private nursing homes don’t accommodate Medicaid recipient’s.

Long-term care insurance

Long-term care insurance plans cover at least a portion of nursing home, assisted living facility and adult day care costs. These plans are really meant to cover all the costs of long-term care, but rather to offset costs or bridge a gap until you are eligible for Medicaid benefits. Policies can be individually tailored, but meaningful coverage is usually expensive. Premiums can cost thousands per year, depending upon coverage and age.

Private payment

The cost of nursing home stay ranges from $6,000 to $12,000 per month or more. Homes health nursing services can easily exceed $50 per hour. Private payments can be painful, but could be the only option if a person does not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, or has not purchased long-term care insurance.

Covering Costs for Long Term Elderly Care

The wisdom of planning ahead

In view of the realities, and because no government long-term care plan is likely to be established, long range planning makes sense. One thing is certain — more people will need to plan for long term care because the 65-plus population is destined to grown by 31 million in the next 20 years.


What They Say

“ We had our name in at other places and had driven by Meetinghouse Village many times before we came to see it. We loved it immediately. Everyone was pleasant and kind. We moved in right away. People in our building are nice to be with and check on each other to make sure we're OK. We are happy to be here. ”

What They Say

“ Some six years ago I searched for a retirement apartment that was comfortable, safe and provided everything needed for independent living at a price that a person of modest means could afford. I found Meetinghouse Village not only met my basic requirements, but also provided for spiritual needs. I have felt no pressure to be anything but what I am. By living here, I feel I have grown and become a better person. I have become more tolerant and have a greater appreciation of God. ”

What They Say

“ I have lived at Meetinghouse Village for nearly 10 years - almost three years with my husband and seven years alone, since he passed away. It's a very pleasant and affordable place with no worries about maintenance and costly repairs. There's a lot to do: social events, game nights, movies, gardening, etc. if you wish to participate. We also have a hair salon, exercise rooms, woodworking shop, laundry room and mail room, all under our roof. I have quiet, friendly neighbors, and I feel happy and safe living here. I couldn't find a better place to live on my income. ”

What They Say

“ I enjoy living here because I feel safe and comfortable in an atmosphere of friendship and spiritual understanding. ”

What They Say

“ There are lots of reasons why I like living at Meetinghouse Village. It's close to parks, beaches, historical towns and cultural opportunities. The apartments are well appointed and comfortable, have decks and ample storage spaces. I like the fact that the staff arranges activities, and we residents are free to use the community spaces for gatherings of our own making. If we have guests, the guest apartment is a tremendous asset, and the fees are minimal. And if any of us have concerns, we can go to the executive director -- he listens. ”