How to Pay for Senior Care

How to Pay for Senior Care

While many adult children shoulder the cost of paying for their aging parent’s care, there is assistance available.

Medicare, Medicaid and the US Department of Veteran Affairs offer programs that can help pay for eldercare.


Medicare is national health insurance that all Americans receive when they turn 65. Disabled people who are under 65 can also enroll in Medicare without paying premiums.

Medicare Covers Short-Term Care

Medicare generally covers short-term rehab stays at a nursing home after a hospitalization. It can also pay for rehab and therapy at home for a limited period of time and when prescribed by a doctor.  Medicare will also cover the cost of certain durable medical equipment such as hospital beds, hoyer lifts, and wheelchairs.

Medicare does not pay for custodial care. This means Medicare does not pay for the following types of senior care:

  • Assisted living
  • Long-term home health aids
  • Long-term care at a nursing home

For more information about Medicare, see


Medicaid is the primary government assistance program paying for long term care for people who need financial assistance. Medicaid does pay for the following types of seniorcare.

  • Skilled nursing homes
  • Home and Community Based Services for people who need skilled nursing but want to remain at home or in the community.

Eligibility for Medicaid in Pennsylvania

  • Must be a resident of Pennsylvania.
  • At least 60 years old.
  • Be determined nursing facility clinically eligible.
  • Financial eligibility determined through the local County Assistance Office.

What does it offer?

  • Provides long-term senior care within the community instead of in a nursing facility.
  • Allows you to receive services in your home.
  • Offers a wide array of home health and personal care services.
  • Gives you a choice services and providers.
  • Qualifies participants for other medical assistance benefits.
  • Provides on-going support and assistance from a service coordination entity.


  • Home health and personal care services
  • Home support
  • Respite care
  • Adult day care
  • Transportation
  • Home modifications
  • Specialized medical equipment and supplies
  • Counseling
  • Home delivered meals
  • PERS
  • Supports coordination
  • Nursing home transition

The cost of senior care is skyrocketing.

How to Apply for the Medicaid Program in Pennsylvania

Contact the independent enrollment broker for enrollment: (MAXIMUS)1-877-550-4227 or visit our Contact Page. The qualified service coordinators at Aging Your Way, Inc. can assist you in getting into contact with the independent enrollment broker.

State Medicare & Medicaid Guidelines

Aging Your Way, Inc. compiled a list of state eligibility guidelines for the Medicaid Waiver program which can be found here.  However, each state has its own Medicaid guidelines and nuances, so you will need to contact a State Medical Assistance office for more specific details:

 Veterans Aid

Veterans who are at least 65 years-old and who served during wartime may be eligible for financial assistance through the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) that can be used to help pay for care. Spouses, surviving spouses, and even other dependents of the veteran may be also eligible for assistance.

There are three levels of VA benefits for wartime veterans and their dependents, which are based on the needs of the applicant.

  1. Basic Pension
    Basic Pension is designed to function as cash assistance for low-income veterans and their dependents. Applicants may be healthy.
  2. Housebound Benefit
    Housebound assistance with day-to-day activities must be needed on a regular basis.
  3. Aid & Attendance
    Assistance must be required on a “daily basis.”

Assistance from the VA is “means tested,” in other words, only people who are deemed genuinely in need will receive an award. It also means that the amount of the benefit is based on the applicant’s income, assets, and needs.

How to Apply for VA Benefits

To apply for VA health care or determine eligibility,

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