What Are The Costs for Nursing Homes?

posted on October 7, 2019
Nursing homes are facility-based service care programs designed to help people in assisted living. You can approach nursing homes for not only housekeeping facilities but also various medical services and personal care. These special facilities can help people with mental health problems such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Their services mainly focus on providing medical care as compared to an assisted living facility.  Typically, the services include 24- hour supervision, nursing care, and assistance with everyday activities. Some nursing homes also offer rehabilitation services that include occupational, speech, and physical therapies.

Nursing homes are reliable facility centers where your loved one can receive extensive care outside a medical center. The nursing home staff can provide adult citizens with custodian care e.g., getting dressed, bathing, eating, and skilled care.  They have trained professionals for the best nursing and medical care.

Despite all the benefits a nursing home provides, a very few people plan to avail the specialized care. And one of the most overlooked aspects is the cost of a nursing home. Nursing homes have different levels of care to support older adult's health. The cost of nursing home varies in prices, depending on the facilities and level of care you choose to receive.

Take a look at this median cost of the nursing home to help you decide the best senior care services for your loved one.

Average Costs of Nursing Home

Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey has found that the average cost of a private room in the United State’s nursing home is $275 to $8, 365 per month. The average cost of a semi-private room of a nursing home ranges up to $7, 441 a month, and $245 per day. Plenty of factors influence the overall cost of a nursing home. The common factors include the length of a person's stay, location, and care services.

If you opt for around-the-clock services with medical care, you might have to pay extra charges in a convalescent center. When seniors transition into any nursing home permanently, they can avail rehabilitation after an illness, surgery, and injury. Whether you pick full-time or part-time services, nursing homes charge a premium price like other health care options. The price is for the valuable services that older adults need concerning rehabilitation, medical care, and various housekeeping services in an environment specifically designed to provide home-like comfort.

Average Annual Cost of Nursing Home

As mentioned earlier, the nursing home cost depends on factors like the length of stay, location, and the type of services you opt for. Many of these facilities have inclusive rates, but some may charge extra money for providing services beyond housecleaning, food, and housing. These expenses are usually associated with memory care and physical therapies. The annual cost of average beneficiaries in the US is around $89, 297 for a semi-private room and $100, 375 for a private room.

Are Nursing Home Costs Tax Deductible?

Typically, nursing home costs are tax-deductible. You can deduct the expense for not only yourself but for your spouse and dependents too. Internal Revenue Service considers nursing home expenses as a medical expense. However, certain requirements and qualifications need to be met before anyone can claim the amount of expense. You must itemize the tax deductions if you want to gain tax benefits.

Let’s have an overview of how it works.

Nature of Medical Expenses

If your loved one (who needs nursing care) resides in a nursing home and needs medical care, the cost of medical care can be included in tax deduction along with the cost of meals and rooms. However, if medical care is not the main reason for entering a nursing home, meals and lodging portion cannot be included. In case he/she receives medical care when staying at a nursing home, claiming that cost as deductible expenses is the right step to take.

How to Claim for Tax Deduction?

To claim a tax deduction for medical expenses, the patient you are paying for must qualify as your income tax dependent. It is worth mentioning that requirements are different for people who have multiple taxpayers to support. Plus, your dependent must be US, Mexico, or Canadian national. They can be anyone, including qualifying relatives or children who lived with you for a long time.

Medicare Coverage for Nursing Home Costs

Medicare is one of the largest and significant programs in the US. The program is designed for elderly persons to receive benefits based on various eligibility factors. However, it is important to know that Medicare covers the expenses of skilled nursing care in some specific situations. The health insurance program does not pay for any custodial care or nursing home cost.

  • Medicare pays for patient’s stays in any nursing home if he/she;
  • Has been hospitalized for three or more days
  • Has been receiving Medicare-certified facilities during his/her stay in the hospital
  • Requires skilled care including rehabilitation, speech, physical and therapy

Medicaid Coverage for Nursing Home Care

Medicaid is another funded program and makes an affordable option for patients with low-income. It provides coverage for Medicare like care services, hospital stays, skilled nursing facilities, and doctor’s visits. The best part of opting for Medicaid coverage is that it offers 100% coverage for nursing care.

How Can I Pay for Nursing Home Care?

You can pay for nursing home care in five ways;

  • Cash Pay - Refers to paying in cash directly for long-term care services.
  • Long-term Care Insurance (LTC) -  Using your LTC insurance you can pay for  nursing home cost
  • Veteran and Spouse VA - This option allows you to have access to a pension for senior citizens. It provides coverage for $1000 to 2000 per month.
  • Medicare - With its limited long-term coverage, Medicare provides 100 days of nursing home coverage for skilled rehab care
  • Medicaid -   You need to qualify for ICPs program of Medicaid to pay the nursing home cost

Final Thoughts

Overall, no matter how difficult the decision of moving your aging loved one to a nursing home is, it entails many benefits for him/her. A good senior care service promises nest care, safety, and engagement of your loved one.  If chosen wisely, nursing homes do not cost you much and have multiple easy payment options.

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