There are many options available. It depends on your family’s circumstances. Income and assets alone are not the only indicators of how much help you can receive. It’s best to meet with a consultant specializing in helping families receive financial support to pay for elder care.
Paying for Senior Care if You Have No Money
When someone doesn’t have the funds to pay for an elder loved one’s medical care, they may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do next. There are many options available:
Financial assistance programs
There are a variety of programs that can help seniors and their families cover the cost of medical care. Some examples include Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and veterans’ benefits.
Local social services agencies or nonprofit organizations that serve seniors may also offer financial assistance or know of other resources.
Discuss payment options with the medical providers
It’s important to communicate with the medical provider and their billing departments and explain your family’s situation. They may be able to offer payment plans or discounts, and some hospitals may have financial assistance programs for low-income individuals.
If you have a consultant helping you, they will often update the facilities and providers on the patient’s behalf.
Home care options
In some cases, it may be less expensive to provide care for the senior at home rather than in a hospital or nursing home. Family members may be able to provide care, or professional in-home care services can be arranged.
Many times, a family member can be paid as a caregiver, depending on other factors. Speak to your Medi-Cal and VA Consultant about this option.
Explore community resources
Many communities have resources that can help seniors with medical care costs. Local senior centers, religious organizations, and nonprofit organizations may offer support with transportation, meal delivery, and other services.
If you need referrals for other resources, please reach out, and we’ll provide the contact information for one of our colleagues.
Consider a reverse mortgage
A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that allows seniors to convert the equity in their home into cash. This can be an option for those who need to pay for medical care but don’t have the funds available. Be sure to consult with an expert before making any decisions.
Consult a financial advisor, Medi-Cal and VA consultant, or elder law attorney
These professionals can help seniors, and their families navigate complex financial issues related to medical care, including Medicaid planning, estate planning, and asset protection.
In all cases, it’s important to do research and explore all available options before making decisions about how to pay for medical care.
Additionally, it may be helpful to seek out emotional support from family members, friends, or a support group to help manage the stress and emotional impact of the situation.
How do I get financial help paying for Assisted Living in California?
Medi-Cal can help pay for assisted living if you are eligible for the program and if the assisted living facility is Medi-Cal-certified. You must meet certain income and asset limits.
Another option is the Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) program, which is administered by the California Department of Aging. The ALW program provides financial assistance to low-income seniors at risk of nursing home placement and needing help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. The ALW program is available to Medi-Cal beneficiaries who meet certain eligibility requirements, including income and asset limits (as discussed above).
Again, there are other government assistance programs that may be able to help you pay for assisted living or long term care, depending on your circumstances. Be sure to speak with a qualified consultant to understand all of your options.
VA Benefits can also help pay for long-term care expenses depending on each family’s situation. The VA also has programs specifically designed to help seniors, such as the Aid and Attendance Pension (described on our website), which can provide financial assistance to veterans and their spouses who need help with activities of daily living.
If you are seeking financial help paying for assisted living in California and you own a home or other assets, it is important to consult with a qualified professional, attorney, or VA and Medi-Cal Consultant.
We can help you understand the eligibility requirements for various assistance programs and advise you on the best way to protect your assets while still obtaining the care you need.
Who pays for a nursing home if you’re broke?
If you are unable to pay for a nursing home and you have no assets or income, you may be able to get help paying for your care through Medicaid.
To be eligible for Medicaid, you must meet certain income and asset limits as discussed above. These limits vary by state. Medi-Cal will consider your countable assets, which may include things like bank accounts, stocks, and real estate, when determining your eligibility.
However, Medi-Cal does not count all of your assets when determining eligibility. For example, Medicaid generally does not count your home, if it is your primary residence, or certain personal property, such as a motor vehicle.
Further, if you are unable to pay for a nursing home and have no assets or income, you may be considered “medically indigent” and eligible for Medicaid under your state’s medically indigent program.
Each state has its own rules and regulations for determining medical indigence, so it is important to contact your local Medicaid office or a qualified professional for more information on your options.
Your Medi-Cal coverage would be effective the first of the month of the application, but you may be able to get coverage for the previous three months if you were within the Medi-Cal guidelines.
It is important to note that Medi-Cal eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis, and the specific requirements for eligibility may vary depending on your individual circumstances.
If you have questions about Medi-Cal eligibility or the application process, you should contact your local Medicaid office or a qualified attorney or VA and Medi-Cal Consultant for more information.