With the cost of health care rising in the United States, it can be daunting to think about how you would pay for a nursing home in the event that you could no longer care for yourself.

Many people do not want to burden their loved ones with the task of caring for another person, and the reality is that many families are simply not equipped with the resources or medical knowledge it takes to provide someone with 24-hour care.

As a result, many families are left trying to figure out how to pay for care. Long-term care in Cary, NC costs an average of $6,300 per month, or over $75,000 per year.

So how is a family supposed to cover this cost? North Carolina long-term care attorney, Jackie Bedard, at Carolina Family Estate Planning have compiled a list of options for clients to consider.

  • Long-term care insurance. This private insurance has a monthly premium that is paid for a predetermined number of years, and benefits are made available once the insured is in need of long-term care. Depending on the policy, the care can include long- and short-term nursing home stays, home health care, and other benefits associated with injuries and ailments that will permanently disable the insured. It is important to note that many policies have a limit on the total benefits they will pay out, which can pose difficulties for someone who may need care for the rest of her life.


  • Medicare. A program funded and administered by the federal government, Medicare is made available to every American over the age of 65 and to those under 65 who have a disability. Despite the fact that Medicare is a federal program, coverage can vary from state to state. The insurance covers most aspects of health care, but excludes most forms of long-term care; only short-term nursing home care after surgery or an acute medical crisis is covered.


  • Medicaid. Another government benefit, Medicaid is aimed at helping those with low incomes who cannot afford the out-of-pocket expense of their health care. Those in need of long-term care can often take advantage of this program if they meet certain qualifications. One common myth about Medicaid is that a person will not be eligible if she has too many assets. This is not always the case, since there are ways to legally protect your assets to increase your chance of qualification.


  • Veteran's Benefits.  Many seniors and their families are unaware of a little-known veteran's benefit available to wartime veteran's and their spouse or widow to help offset the cost of long-term care expenses.  The program, common referred to as the VA Aid & Attendance program can be a tremendous benefit in offsetting the costs of long-term care.


  • North Carolina Special Assistance. This is a State/County need-based program that in many ways is similar to Medicaid, however, it has its own eligibility and financial rules that vary significantly from the Medicaid rules.  For those that qualify, it can be particularly helpful in offsetting the cost of home care or care at an assisted living facility.

Additional Information on North Carolina Medicaid Assistance for Nursing Home Care:

Download a free copy of Jackie Bedard’s book, The Ultimate Guide to Paying for Nursing Home Care in North Carolina, to learn the nursing home and Medicaid secrets you need to know to avoid going broke in a nursing home and leaving your family penniless.

Jackie Bedard
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Attorney, Author, and Founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning