Long term care planning can be important since many people in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, may have to spend their last years living in a nursing facility. One thing that nursing facilities generally have in common, however, is price, with the average cost being $321.95 per day in 2017. This means that long term care planning is important when people in Pennsylvania start thinking about financing nursing home care.
There are several ways in which seniors pay for nursing home care. First, Medicare may cover a small amount of such care, provided that the Medicare requirements are met, such as a 3 day hospital stay, going to a nursing facility for skilled care for up to 100 days. Based on these limitations, Medicare only pays for about 2% of nursing home residents, which does not include an extended stay.
Second, many people have to rely on their savings to pay for a nursing facility. The trouble is that your life savings can be used quickly, unless someone has high income or is wealthy. It can be very hard to build up enough savings to retire, pay for a nursing home and still leave something to pass on to your loved ones.
Next, some veterans can rely on veterans' benefits to help pay for the cost of long term care, provided that certain criteria are met for eligibility.
Other people purchase long term care insurance from a private insurance company. In exchange for premiums, the company agrees to pay so much per day for nursing home care. The cost of long term care insurance varies depending on the age at which one obtains the insurance, the daily benefit amount, the length of time for which the policy, inflation protection, etc.
Finally, some people wind up applying for Medicaid benefits, or welfare, in order to be able to stay in a nursing home. However, qualifying for Medicaid may be difficult, since the program is only for those who have limited income and assets. An elder law attorney can be helpful in long term care planning to assist in obtaining Medicaid eligibility.