What do I need to know about my loved one’s finances?
Question 3 of 4 (use "Last" or "Next" buttons to see more)
Last Update: August 16, 2006
You need to know if your loved one
- can afford to cover her health expenses now (doctors visits, prescriptions, insurance, home care, assisted living);
- can afford to cover her health expenses in the future, especially if her needs were to change suddenly. Medicare will never cover all long-term care needs and will only pay for a limited stay in an approved skilled nursing facility (nursing home) if she meets certain health criteria.
- has legally named someone who can make financial decisions on her behalf (power of attorney).
As long as your loved one is capable, she should manage her own affairs. But it is important to open the discussion about finances early, so you know whether your loved one is prepared in case an emergency happens. You can help her budget now and plan for the future.
If your loved one has limited income, she may be eligible for programs that can help reduce her costs.
To see what programs can help people with limited incomes, click on the link in the GO TO box.
For more information about what long-term care Medicare will cover, click on the link in the GO TO box.
For more information on what you need to know about your loved one’s health insurance, click on the link in the NEXT button.
You should also talk to your loved one about creating a power of attorney document. This legal document will allow her to appoint someone she trusts to make property, financial and other legal decisions on her behalf (“an agent”). The agent may play a critical role in her health care, as he or she can pay for medical treatments and collect Medicare payments. The agent can also make sure that your loved one’s savings and assets are protected.
To find out how power of attorney works, click on the link in the GO TO box.
For more tips on how to help your loved one manage her finances, go to ElderCare Online’s article “Financial Caregiving.” Click on the link in the LINKS box.