When searching for a senior living community, cost is a significant deciding factor. Whether browsing for yourself, your spouse, a parent, or a dear friend, the end goal of assisted and independent living is to ensure seniors live a fulfilling life at a reasonable price.

Unfortunately, many seniors and their families who don’t have the money available find themselves wondering how they can afford the transition. However, there are a variety of nontraditional ways to pay for senior living and care. At Sundale Senior Living in Huntsville, TX, we accept several forms of payment and will work with you to find the best solution.

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Senior Living Costs

Several factors play a role in determining the cost of assisted and independent living, which can be overwhelming for those new to the process. A typical senior living monthly payment can be broken down to cover the following:

  • Apartment rent, which varies by floor plan
  • Amenities, such as an on-site fitness center
  • Levels of care and services

Residents that don’t require any specialized care often pay a base monthly service rate. Those who need hands-on assistance may be offered levels of care to choose from. Many communities, such as Sundale Senior Living, will assist in evaluating each individual’s care needs and create a personalized service plan. This allows for residents to pay for the services they require at the time of need.

Paying for Senior Care: The Options

When researching senior living options, it’s important to determine which community is the best fit for your loved one. Although cost is a notable factor to consider, the variety of payment forms available shouldn’t keep you from inquiring. Potential ways to fund assisted or independent living include:

Private Funds

Senior living is frequently paid for out of pocket, whether that be through a resident’s personal savings or from family contributions. Although private funding is common, not everyone has the money needed to sustain their stay. When that’s the case, other methods can be used.

Life Insurance

Life insurance policies are typically purchased to benefit the policyholder’s beneficiaries, but they can be pivoted toward living expenses if needed. Some companies will buy 50-75% of the policy back, depending on the senior’s age, health, and monthly premiums.

If your senior’s life insurance company doesn’t offer a living benefits option, you can choose to sell the policy to a third party through a process called “life settlement.” In this situation, the policy is purchased at 50-75% of its face value and the third party company is responsible for premiums, which fund the senior’s living expenses. However, once the original policyholder passes, the death benefit goes to the company rather than the beneficiaries.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Many long-term care insurance policies have specific benefits, whether that include therapy programs or medical diagnoses. For example, those with established long-term care plans can designate payments toward living expenses, which can either go directly to the community or to a beneficiary who then pays the community. However, if your loved one doesn’t have a long-term care insurance plan already in place, they are unable to create a new policy that funds their stay.

Veterans Benefits

Reserved for former active service members and their spouses, veterans benefits can be applied to residential care. If your loved one has a service-related injury or diagnoses, their veterans benefits can cover assisted living. Further, Aid and Attendance benefits can be given to disabled service members and their spouses whose income is below a predetermined amount.

In order to determine eligibility and receive benefits, you must go through the United States Veterans Administration. The process can be overwhelming and time-consuming, but many communities such as Sundale Senior Living offer concierge services, whose staff will connect you with experts.

Reverse Mortgages

For couples who own a house, a reverse mortgage can be used to pay for one spouse’s assisted living while the other still resides in the home. Reverse mortgages allow you to cash out the house’s available equity, whether in full or a series of monthly payments, that then are transferred to the senior living community.

The bank determines the amount based on the home’s value, interest rates, and the applicant’s age (must be at least 62 years or older). The loan’s balance typically increases over time, and upon the borrower’s death, it must be repaid. However, the family will likely have to sell the home in order to fully repay the loan, so if the property has emotional value, you may want to consider opening it up for rent.

What About Medicare and Medicaid?

Although Medicare and Medicaid are helpful forms of government assistance covering health care costs, they don’t apply in many situations. For example, in the state of Texas, Medicare does not cover senior living expenses, and Medicaid is limited to a specific type of community with stringent requirements.

Medicare typically covers short-term services such as hospital stays, hospice care, home health care, and other kinds of medical programs, so the long-term nature of assisted and independent living makes them ineligible for coverage. Medicaid, on the other hand, was created for individuals with limited financial resources. Therefore, not only does Medicaid limit eligibility, but a handful of communities also have a select number of designated living spaces for those who do qualify.

Schedule a Tour of Our Huntsville Assisted Living Community

The process of finding the best senior living community for yourself or a loved one can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure how you’ll be able to pay. Although the cost of assisted and independent living can be concerning, there are options available to ensure your senior’s retirement is active, fulfilling, and as independent as possible.

Additionally, paying for senior living can be any combination of resources. For instance, you can utilize VA benefits and supplement the cost with both private and family monetary support. If you’re not sure where to start, schedule a meeting with us at Sundale. We would be more than happy to work through a financial worksheet together.

At Sundale Senior Living, we offer apartment-style options for seniors looking to maintain their independence surrounded by individuals in the same stage of life. Our knowledgeable staff and friendly concierge services can help you understand your payment options, and find a solution that works for you. To learn more about our Huntsville senior living community, contact us today and schedule a tour!

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