The costs of long-term care add up quickly, particularly in Washington state where the average yearly cost for residing in a nursing home is between $70,000 and $80,000. The Seattle Times reported on figures which show that only about 10% of Americans have long-term care insurance. The cost for the associated insurance premiums can be as much as $5,600 a year.

A long-term care insurance policy generally provides some, or all, of the funding necessary for a nursing home or assisted living facility. The resident, however, covers co-payments or additional costs by themselves. Adult children may also need to help an elderly parent with their long-term care needs, but in the case of families with growing responsibilities, such as raising school-age children, it may be too much for budgets already stretched thin.

Without a reliable long-term care insurance plan, it could become difficult for an elderly individual to cover an affordable living arrangement while on a limited budget or fixed income. To help combat the issues of long-term care, Washington state introduced a taxpayer-funded public insurance policy. By deducting 0.58% from an employer’s payroll tax, individuals may receive a single-payment benefit of as much as $36,500 toward at-home health care expenses. A family member could possibly become a de facto caretaker. Outfitting a senior’s residence with safety features, such as guardrails and grab bars to prevent falling, could also become more doable.

Another option available to senior citizens is the Medicaid program. It covers the costs of nursing home care for 62% of senior facility residents, but comes with stringent income requirements for program qualification. With the overall expense of housing expected to increase, it may be a wise idea to begin planning for an elder family member’s future living arrangements.

The information provided is for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.