How Can I Afford a Nursing Home?

The following was excerpted from Evan H. Farr, CELA’s new book, entitled “Nursing Home Survival Guide:  Helping You Protect Your Loved Ones Who Need Nursing Home Care by Preserving Dignity, Quality of Life, and Financial Security.”
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“One of greatest concerns people have about nursing home care is how to pay for it.  There are basically four ways to pay for the cost of the care provided by a nursing home:

  • Private Pay.  This is the method many people must use at first.  It means paying for the cost of a nursing home out of your own pocket.  Unfortunately, with nursing home bills of more than $12,000 per month at some facilities, few people can afford to pay on their own for a long-term stay in a nursing home.  Even those who can afford to do so often desire to explore other options — options that allow them to retain some or all of their assets for other important needs, while still permitting them to pay for nursing home care.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance.  If you have long-term care insurance coverage, this could help pay the costs of needed home care or  nursing home care.  Unfortunately, only about ten percent of the population carry long-term care insurance, so most people facing a nursing home stay do not have this type of coverage in place.  Many people who would like to purchase this type of coverage find that they can not afford it. Read more about long-term care insurance on page 34.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs.  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) primarily pays for long-term care through the Veterans “Aid and Attendance” Special Pension Benefit payments.  In some parts of the country, there are also nursing homes that are run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.  You will find additional information about the Veterans “Aid and Attendance” Special Pension starting on page 46.
  • Medicaid.  This is a combined federally-funded and state-funded benefit program, administered by each state, that can pay for the cost of a nursing home if certain asset and income tests are met.  According to AARP, about 70 percent of nursing home residents are supported, at least in part, by Medicaid.  Medicaid qualification and eligibility is  discussed in greater detail starting on page 52.

You will notice that Medicare is NOT listed among the sources of funds used to pay for long-term care in a nursing home.  This is because Medicare does not pay a penny for long-term care, ever.  Medicare is the national health insurance program primarily for people 65 years of age and older, those under age 65 who have been disabled for at least 24 months, and people with kidney failure.  Medicare may provide some coverage for short-term (up to 100 days) rehabilitation in a nursing facility, provided you continue to get better from the rehabilitation, but you must meet certain strict qualification rules, which will be discussed in greater detail starting on page 36 .”
About “The Nursing Home Survival Guide- Helping You Protect Your Loved Ones Who Need Nursing Home Care by Preserving Dignity, Quality of Life, and Financial Security.”
In the book, The Nursing Home Survival Guide- Helping You Protect Your Loved Ones Who Need Nursing Home Care by Preserving Dignity, Quality of Life, and Financial Security,” Mr. Farr provides invaluable information and guidance to families dealing with the possibility of nursing home care and struggling to make the best decisions for themselves or their loves ones.  Mr. Farr, a nationally-renowned Best-Selling author and frequent educator of attorneys across the U.S., uses his mastery of the subject to educate consumers about the ever-changing landscape of nursing home care in America and, most importantly, how to get the best care and how pay for that care without going broke.

Readers can get expert advice on diverse topics ranging from the basics — how do you select the best facility, what does Medicare cover, how to get the best long-term care insurance — to the advanced, such as Veterans Aid & Attendance Planning, Medicaid Asset Protection, Pre-Need Medicaid Planning, and Medicaid Crisis Planning.  Mr. Farr provides access to a valuable Nursing Home Evaluation Tool and insights using case studies featuring some of the most common Medicaid Asset Protection strategies and how they pertain to real-life situations. Readers will also become educated about the rights of nursing home residents, estate and Incapacity Planning, How to Find the Best Lawyer, and more.  The “Nursing Home Survival Guide- Helping You Protect Your Loved Ones Who Need Nursing Home Care by Preserving Dignity, Quality of Life, and Financial Security” is now available on

Do you have a loved one who is in a nursing home or nearing the need for nursing home care? Or are you simply looking to plan ahead in the event nursing home care is needed in the future? Nursing homes in Northern Virginia cost $10-$12K per month. Life Care Planning and Medicaid Asset Protection is the process of protecting assets from having to be spent down in connection with entry into a nursing home, while also helping ensure that you or your loved one get the best possible care and maintain the highest possible quality of life, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Learn more at The Fairfax and Fredericksburg Elder Law Firms of Evan H. Farr, P.C. website. Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost  consultation.


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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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