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What are private options to finance long-term care?

While older adults may qualify for Medicare, PACE, Medicaid and VA healthcare benefits, they may still need help to pay for medical care. Private finance options could help bridge the gap, or some adults may prefer alternative payment methods for long-term health care.

The National Institute on Aging describes private methods for covering older adult medical care. Knowing additional methods may help ease financial and emotional anxiety and provide older patients with proper care.

Reverse mortgage

Older adults 62 or older may qualify for a reverse mortgage. The special tax-free home loan converts a portion of the applicant’s homeownership value into cash to spend on long-term care. Those approved for a reverse mortgage do not repay the loan until they no longer use their property as a primary residence, sell the home or die.

Long-term care insurance

Long-term care insurance could offer a viable way to pay for hospice and palliative care. Usually, younger people and those in good health pay less for the care coverage. Those in poor health may not qualify. How much a person pays depends on the amount and level of service, optional benefits selected and age.

Life insurance for long-term care

Some insurance providers offer combined long-term care coverage and life insurance. If a policy includes an accelerated death benefit, the policyholder has access to tax-free cash advances that siphon funds from the beneficiary amount. Often, patients who qualify for an accelerated death benefit include those with a life-threatening medical diagnosis, the terminally ill and permanent nursing home residents.

Combining private and government programs could keep older adults from feeling overwhelmed by the price of staying in good health. Financial, medical and legal professionals may help older adults learn more about options that suit them most favorably.

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