Long Term Care Insurance for Veterans is complex. There are two programs that might be useful for veterans when facing long term care: Federal Program (called Aid and Attendance) and the State program. Check the other blogs for more information on the Federal program.
One thing to note: the Federal and State programs do not co-ordinate… so you could potentially qualify and use both in combination.
State Veteran Benefits
State Veteran benefits for long term care are usually only for nursing home care. Every state in the US, including Missouri, has one or more nursing homes in the state that are operated by the state specifically to house and care for veterans. Criteria for admission to the VA nursing home will vary from one state to the next. So we recommend you check the web site for your state’s Veterans Commission (sometimes called Veteran’s Department or Dept. of Veteran Affairs).
That website should list the names and address of each nursing home and it should give you contact information so you can call and ask more specific questions.
In general, however, most states will operate the VA nursing home on a sliding scale so that every veteran pays something, but typically the most that is paid is about half of the rate of a nursing home on the open market. Recently there was a law change that allowed veterans with a 75% or greater military-related disability to use the nursing home at no charge – but as we all know these laws can change. So double checking is always a good idea.
Finally, we usually recommend you ask if there is a waiting list and how long it is. If a state has a nursing home that has no wait list, I would question if the quality of care is very good. Typically if the care is any good, there is a waiting list of men and women trying to utilize the facility benefit.
Long Term Care Insurance using Veteran Benefits is a long and complex process. For many people with assets its is less complex and more timely to simply purchase and use a long term care insurance policy.