Category Archives: Senior Finance

Do Nursing Homes Accept Medicare?

One frequent question we get is, “Do nursing homes accept medicare?”

Medicare will not usually pay for long-term room and board at nursing homes. A nursing home that provides medical services may accept payment for those particular items, but not for residential fees.

If it is medically required for you to get “skilled nursing care” (for example, trained nurses who can administer chemotherapy medications and monitor your response) then Medicare Part A may cover your stay at a skilled nursing facility.

Medicare is health insurance and covers medical expenses like doctor’s visits, hospitalization and medical supplies – it does not typically pay for extended care or nursing home fees. Even though an elderly person may need help bathing and dressing does not mean Medicare will pay for that assistance.

Is There Free Nursing Home Care?

Nursing Homes are expensive. How expensive? According to AARP,

Brace yourself. Most people already know nursing home care can be expensive. Although the average cost is more than $50,000 a year and climbing, it can vary widely depending on where you live. Employee health insurance does not pay for nursing home care. About a third of nursing home residents pay all of their nursing home costs from their own funds.”

Continue reading Is There Free Nursing Home Care?

Senior Thought – America’s Rising Medical Expenses Threaten Senior Citizens

If you’re a working individual like me and you are still having a problem budgeting your money on medical expenses, then you have got to understand what it feels to be old and in need of medical attention.

Perhaps it’s time to be alarmed, as a growing number of Americans are not getting the right health care because they can’t possibly afford it. According to a recent survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund’s Biennial Health Insurance Survey, around 43% of America’s working age adults have not seen a doctor when they were ill. If you put up an estimate on the figure, close to80 million people did not have access to proper health care last year.

If we do some backtracking, that’s over 75 million people in 2010 and 63 million in 2003.

Our country’s healthcare insurance situation has clearly gone from bad to worse. If the working-age adults are having a hard time getting the right medical services nowadays, then how much more can we expect from our senior citizens? With more people entering into the retirement age, perhaps now might be the right time to come up with a back up plan on staying fit and healthy.

With the high costs of medical insurance, it is not surprising why a lot of people have opted not to be insured, but the same people are going to have a lot of problems getting the best hospital care in the future. Is this one reason why rumours of some health centres are now having difficulty when it comes to hospital infection control because of the low healthcare budget? Who knows. One thing is sure though; this won’t be too much of a good news for the elderly citizens.

For those who are already comfortable enough with their senior medical insurance, it is still right to be worried. With the high costs of medical expenses, you’ll most likely realize that you’d get lesser health care service from some hospitals nowadays. Nearly 3 out of 10 adults have said that they do not visit a doctor in a hospital or clinic when they have medical problems simply because they can’t afford the fees anymore. This does not include those who have not visited their doctor again but need follow-up check ups because of the nature of their disease.

In fact, 28% of patients with chronic diseases, like hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, who need prescribed drugs have opted to not buy the said medicine, since it’s too expensive for them. And to think that these diseases are more prevalent towards people who are now over the age of 50 and above! Perhaps it’s time for our government to take a look into this problem and come up with the right solution before all is too late.

So what does one have to do in order to survive the high medical expense nightmare? I guess it’s back to the basics for all of us. Eating a healthy diet, lots of proper exercise, and living a stress-free life are some of the easiest solutions so far when it comes to staying away from the hospital!

About the Author:

Jessica Greenberg is a caregiver and avid blogger from San Diego, California. When she’s having her days-off, she enjoys surfing the Internet with a hot cup of coffee in her hand while checking articles about care-giving and senior care. She also enjoys updating, a blog that she keeps together with her friends.

Life Insurance for Seniors

There are many aspects to take into consideration when deciding to purchase life insurance as a senior. If you are making this decision already in your senior years, you likely are trying to ensure that the financial consequences of your passing do not negatively affect your surviving family members.

Consider the reasons why you need life insurance

There are several ways life insurance can protect your family after your passing, but you should consider what the reasons for it are before purchasing. It would be nice if we could pass on enormous financial legacies to our heirs, but this is not what term life insurance is for. Term life insurance is to mitigate the effects of the detrimental financial consequences of your death on your family, and there are several ways it can help.

The first is if you feel you need to cover the expenses of your funeral and your burial so that these expenses do not rest on your family. These costs can be over $10,000, and can be very burdensome for surviving family members. The second important reason for life insurance is to cover any unpaid debts that may remain to your loved ones after your passing. When a spouse is a co-signer on a mortgage, for example, they may be left with the mortgage after your death, but without your income to pay it. Term life insurance can provide funding for either of these situations, but you have to be realistic in what its purpose is.

Image: Shutterstock

Consider how much insurance you really need

If you find yourself wanting to protect your family from these financial consequences, consider how much insurance you really need, and only purchase that much. Life insurance for seniors can be very expensive, so consider what it is you really need to protect, and insure to protect that amount. Also consider other financial strategies to buffer compliment life insurance. For example, if you are able to set aside $10,000 of your retirement funds to cover your funeral expenses, that may be the cheaper than purchasing term life insurance well into your retirement years.

Start planning early

If life insurance is in your financial strategy, then consider that the earlier you are able to purchase life insurance, the cheaper it will be in the long term. If you buy a long-term life insurance contract early, you will spend less money than if you had to repurchase short-term contracts repeatedly. Premiums that are decided based on your health at 65 will be much cheaper than those decided when you are 75, so try to get the cheaper premiums early and find a plan that provides guaranteed renewals when you need them. Often, these renewals will increase your premiums, but it allows you access to life insurance if your health situation has changed in a way that wouldn’t otherwise allow you to qualify.

Stay healthy

Most people think they would choose to stay healthy if they had the option, so it seems crass to say you should stay healthy in your retirement years. And while there are many factors of aging that are beyond our control from a health perspective, there are many more that are within our control. It’s never too late to commit to a healthy lifestyle, eating whole fruits and vegetables, not smoking, getting regular check-ups and a maintaining relatively active physical and social lifestyle. These factors can give you a clean bill of health that can significantly reduce your life insurance costs (not to mention help you enjoy your retirement years!).

How to avoid scams

If it looks too good to be true, that’s because it is. If you are a senior looking for insurance, be aware that there are a number of scams out there that can take advantage of your or a loved one’s situation. Contact trusted, independent, legal or financial advisors if you would like to get sound advice on life insurance for seniors or on a particular insurance contract, and contact your state regulatory agency immediately if you believe you have been a victim of any kind of insurance scam.

In the end, you should get a life insurance policy that meets your specific needs. Your friend may have a radically different financial strategy from you and that is okay. Consider what specific risks your family faces financially if you pass away earlier than expected and what financial products can mitigate that risk. Be realistic in what those financial products can provide, and shop around for the best options. Remember that life insurance is not a way to make your family rich when you pass away it is simply one of many financial strategies that can protect them during financially difficult times.

Seniors And Insurance

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Today there is an insurance policy for almost everything. The problem is you don’t need almost everything. You just need a small part of the insurance policies out there today. After spending a life working and earning seniors deserve the security that some insurance policies offer. But there are others that they absolutely must avoid.

Insurances To Own

Health Insurance

Health Insurance is a very basic type of insurance that should be part and parcel of every senior’s kitty. Because an accident of illness may leave one disabled without the money to pay for treatment, health insurance is an essential type of insurance that every senior must have. No senior wants to be in debt due to ill health.

Health insurance is provided to full-time and sometimes even to part-time employees by several employers. If you lack health insurance today, get it. Sometimes both spouses can be covered under one health insurance plan by the employer.

Even if you do not have health insurance through an employer it is still extremely essential. Health is a basic requirement of life. Sometimes a simple hospital bill can run into thousands of dollars. It isn’t worth it to skimp on premiums.

Life Insurance

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If you are married and have dependents those who depend on you, then this policy is essential. If you pass away and leave an income gap those who depended on you for their finances like a wife and children might be sorely hit.  The fact of death is hard, financial woes make it harder. Ideally you should leave a comfortable amount of money that will regularly be given to them through insurance.

Auto Insurance

Auto insurance is a basic type of insurance. It is a law in many states to have such insurance. Still you often find people driving around without this insurance. Automobiles cost a lot of money and if they are damaged you need the funds to be able to replace or repair them. This insurance also covers you from bodily damage in an accident. It pays for medical expenses and legal defense costs.

Property Insurance

This is another important type of insurance to have to cover money borrowed from the bank. Since the home is the most important asset it is essential to make it secure by insuring it. The mortgage payment contains the insurance premium in many cases. For those who rent, a renter’s insurance policy is essential. This benefits you if a disaster, fire or burglary takes place.

Insurances To Avoid

There are some insurances that must be avoided at all costs. Although marketing may make them seem beneficial, they are quite useless. Let us take a look at some of these.

Cancer Insurance

Normally your primary health insurance will cover cancer. This is one of the reasons to avoid this popular insurance. Even more glaring gaps in this insurance exist. For one it does not cover skin cancer. This is the most often reported type of cancer. In addition it does not cover outpatient expenses. Buy this insurance only if you have high chances of getting cancer and if it is uncovered in your primary health insurance plan.

Flight And Travel Insurance

This insurance coverage often is already present in your other health insurance plans. Check to see how your current health and life insurance plans cover travel. Often when you use credit cards to buy tickets you automatically get covered for this insurance. Check that you aren’t buying more than you need.

Mortgage Life Insurance

In the event you die or become disabled, this policy will pay your premiums. But is that a good idea? Think again. This is coverage that overlaps with your current life insurance. The event is already covered and this policy offers narrow coverage.

Insurance is a highly technical subject and so you should be sure of what you are buying. Buried under volumes of fine print is reality. When you go out there to buy insurance as a senior remember to research and seek good advice.


Guest post by contributing author Linda Michelle. To calculate insurance rates click here.