For senior citizens in nearly every state, including Texas, affording retirement is a struggle. According to a 2013 study, the median income for Texas citizens aged 65 and over is just under $35,000 per year, which is only a little more than half the median income of residents 45 to 64. Given this low amount, many seniors are struggling to survive during their retirement years. Often, seniors have to rely on social security to scrape by, with social security income being the only source of income in many cases.Â A variety of factors contribute toward this financial difficulty. Among these are the following:
- Poor retirement planning
- Mental and physical health issues
- Low wages
- National economic difficulties
While many senior citizens are well enough off, many others are barely getting by. In many cases, low income is only part of the problem. Health care costs and housing both represent a significant portion of seniors’ expenses, and these can each be difficult to afford. In cases where an older adult has costly medical issues, housing and health care together can make an already bad situation nearly impossible to manage.
Many seniors face difficulty affording housing. Perhaps your home is not paid off, or you need to move into an assisted living facility. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to afford payments on either one without assistance. Fortunately, there are resources available to help senior citizens afford housing. For example, housing vouchers and multifamily subsidized houses can be good options for helping you afford independent housing.
In the case of assisted living, many seniors cannot afford the monthly cost, but there are other options to help with payment. These options are primarily related to medical care.
For seniors in need of long-term care, assisted living is often necessary. In Texas, this can be covered by Medicaid, but only under a certain waiver program, and only when certain requirements are met. In order to qualify for Medicaid in Texas, your monthly income must be below a certain limit, and you must have resources (assets) below $2,000 in value ($3,000 for married couples).
The STAR PLUS Waiver services provided through Medicaid can help with assisted living expenses as well as other home- and community-based costs. However, enrollment is limited. Also, not all assisted living centers accept Medicaid. Fortunately, Senior Care Centers accepts Medicaid coverage for our residents.
For nursing home expenses, Medicare and Medicaid will both help with the costs, though the coverage offered by each is limited. Medicare coverage for skilled nursing facilities is limited to periods of up to 100 days with at least 60 days of wellness in between periods. Medicaid, on the other hand, only covers SNF care if it is medically necessary. In other words, if you would be able to get the nursing care you need elsewhere, then it won’t cover nursing home expenses.
Surviving the Struggle
At Senior Care Centers, we make sure our residents are well taken care of. We accept numerous insurance policies as well as Medicare and Medicaid coverage. If you or a loved one has questions about assistance with day-to-day activities or skilled nursing care, contact us to discuss your options.