Financial Options to Help Pay for or Reduce the Cost of Home Care
|Costs of Home Care
|Home Care Financial |
Resource Locator Tool
|Paying For Home Care
||Developing a Financial Plan
for Home Care
|50-State Home Care
Costs & Affordability Index
A home care aide will typically visit an individual several times a week for periods lasting from 2-8 hours. Nationwide in 2013, the average hourly amount being paid for non-medical home care is $18. The average hourly rate in different state ranges from $14 - $25. It should be noted that these are average costs from home care agencies. Private individuals can be retained to provide most of the same services with fees that are 20-30% lower. However, these independents are typically uninsured, do not go through background checks and may be unable to provide alternatives in case they are not available to work on short notice.
Home Health Aides will visit the home as much as medically necessary; typically for shorter periods of time than home care aide visits. In 2013, nationwide, the average hourly fee is $19 and different state averages range from $15 - $25. Interestingly, this represents a 10% drop in the average cost from 2012.
Alzheimer's care at home can be affordable and relatively low cost when compared to residential care. Typically home care providers do not charge additional fees to care for individuals with Alzheimer's. This is not the case in senior living residences where Alzheimer's and dementia care usually costs an additional $1,150 per month.
Find affordable home care, see a table of the average cost of home care and home health care by state or use our home care vs assisted living calculator.
Home health care costs, on the other hand, are considered medically necessary and therefore they are covered, at least in part, by Medicare and other health insurance programs.
1. Federal Programs (non-Medicaid) – These are federally managed options that provide financial or care assistance, or they cover some of the cost of home care.
|Social Security||Veterans Pensions|
2. Cost of Living / Care Reductions – These programs and tax credits can reduce a family’s tax burden or reduce the hours of care required effectively lowering the overall cost of care.
|LIHEAP – Aid for Energy Costs||Veteran’s Administration Respite Care|
3. Asset Conversion Programs – These options provide families that have non-liquid assets with a method by which to convert those assets to help pay for care.
|Home Equity Line Of Credit||Life Care Assurance Benefit|
4. Non-Profit Assistance – For qualified individuals, these programs provide financial assistance and / or respite care.
|CFAC: Cancer Assistance||Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Aid|
5. State Programs – These are options managed by the states that provide financial assistance or cover some of the cost of home care.
|Maryland Senior Care Program|
Massachusetts HCP and ECOP Programs
6. Medicaid Programs – Often labeled “nursing home diversion” programs, the intent of most of these programs is to minimize nursing home placement and instead help the elderly remain living at home. These programs will usually pay for home care provided it can be obtained at a lesser cost than nursing home care. Click here for a State by State Guide to Medicaid Home Care. Some of these program pay family members and relatives for caregiving. However, it should be noted that there are very strict financial eligibility requirements for Medicaid. Assistance is available qualifying for Medicaid.
For this reason (and others), it is advantageous to develop a long term financial plan when considering home care. Doing so has the dual benefit of ensuring a comfortable and consistent aging process for your loved one while at the same time preserving your family’s assets and resources.
The creation of a financial plan for home care is a complicated process and must accommodate various health scenarios. Fortunately, there are resources available to help families with financial planning for home care. Each resource has its pros and cons.
• Public Benefits Counselors – local agencies such as Area Agencies on Aging and Aging and Disability Resource Centers have benefits counselors on staff that often can help with financial planning. While they typically do not charge for their assistance, they are often under-staffed and unable to provide adequate long term planning. They also tend to be highly knowledgeable about local programs but may not have the larger financial planning experience. Find your local Agency on Aging or Aging and Disability Resource Centers.
• Geriatric Care Managers – GCMs help families create and implement long term care plans and, as a part of that, some will help on the financial planning side. Since GCMs are typically paid for out-of-pocket, one can expect a higher level of attention than one might receive from a public benefits counselor. Families tend to contact GCMs only after the need for care has become apparent and therefore GCMs are not in the best position to do long term planning. Often GCMs come from nursing or public health backgrounds and do not have extension financial experience. Find a Geriatric Care Manager.
• Eldercare Financial Planners – Financial planners have the highest level of professional experience and are the most expensive option. They are very knowledgeable with long term planning but may be less aware of local programs, short term options and ways to reduce the cost of care. Find an Eldercare Financial Planner.
• Home care aides are also referred to as personal care aides, caregivers, companions, and personal attendants.
|2013 Home Care Costs and Affordability|
|State||Home Care Aide Hourly Rate||Home Health Aide Hourly Rate||Home Care Affordability Index (Lower #s are more affordable)
||State Ranking*(Lower #s are more affordable)|