What Can You Do To Cover Your Senior Parent's Nursing Home Expenses?

Making the decision to move into a nursing home is just the beginning of the process to receive long-term care. You and your family also have to think of how to pay for the services. Even if your parent has savings, he or she might need additional assistance to guarantee that the services are covered. If you and your senior parent are worried about covering the cost of living in a nursing home, here are just a few options that your family could turn to.  

Long Term Care Insurance 

Long term care insurance helps to cover some of the nursing home expenses after a triggering event has occurred. For instance, if your parent has a medical crisis that requires 24-hour care, the insurance would allow a designated beneficiary to receive payouts that can be applied towards the living expenses.  

It is important to note that with long term care insurance, the premiums tend to increase as your parent ages. The health of your parent can also impact just how much is paid annually. To score the lowest premium possible, you and your family should start looking into getting a policy as soon as possible. If your parent does not have any major medical issues, it is possible to get a lower premium that is more affordable.  

Nursing Home Tax Deduction 

There is a possibility that you might be able to claim your senior parent as a dependent and get a nursing home tax deduction. The deduction would lower your taxable income and possibly lead to a bigger refund. The refund could then be applied towards your parent's nursing home expenses.  

To qualify for the deduction, you have to prove that you are paying for at least half of your parent's living expenses and that he or she is related to you. Eligible living expenses that you can claim include medical fees, personal care items, premiums for health insurance, and the fees for entering nursing home care.  

It is important to note that you cannot claim your parent's life insurance premiums or any medical expenses that were covered by Medicaid or Medicare as a living expense.  

Contact the nursing home your parent is considering to discover other means of financing his or her room and board. Many nursing homes have financial counselors on staff who are experienced in identifying programs that can be used to cover some or all of the expenses. Places like Regina Nursing Center can offer more information.