When Medicare Won't Cover The Costs:
Alternative funding options for Aging in Place Home Modifications and Accessibility Renovations
To most people, consumers and health professionals alike, Medicare plans and coverage can be a mystery. There are several reasons for this:
1) Medicare policies and rules for coverage are frequently changing.
2) Medicare doesn't have a strong reputation for providing detailed, accessible and understandable guidelines on their coverage policies.
3) There are a variety of different Medicare policies available, resulting in coverage that is somewhat confusing and unique to each individual.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
Though Medicare does proudly claim to cover SOME preventative services, for the most part the approved preventative medical services are very limited.
For example, Medicare WILL provide coverage for annual primary care doctor check-ups and vaccinations.
However, Medicare has not provided clear guidelines and often denies coverage for "maintenance therapy" programs to prevent decline in those with chronic illnesses such as muscular dystrophy or Parkinson's disease.
Similarly, home modifications and renovations are essentially not covered by Medicare. Sadly, this leaves consumers with only 3 options:
1) Pay out of pocket.
2) Wait for an impending fall, injury or decline at which time Medicare will cover treatment for hospitalization, rehab and skilled nursing in lieu of preventive care.
3) Find alternative funding.
Since option #3 is arguably the most favorable option for a positive outcome, let's dig into some alternative funding options that may allow you to modify your home to safely live in place without "breaking the bank"!
Alternative Funding For Home Modifications/Renovations
ACCESS Home Modification PHFA Grant : A non-interest bearing grant up to $10,000. Payment is NOT required until relocation from the residence occurs. This grant may also provide assistance for the closing cost associated with the purchase of a home that was made to accommodate accessibility needs.
Be Home Modification for Accessibility Act (HR7676): This bill was recently introduced in 5/2022 and is pending approval. If this bill should pass, this will allow up to $30,000 in tax deductions for specified home modifications for homeowners AND it may also allow utilization of retirement funds as early as 59+ without penalty and with reduced taxation.
Occupational Vocational Rehabilitation: This federal organizations provides grants for all modifications related to accessing employment opportunities and enabling employment opportunities for those with disabilities. For many this can include home modifications to allow for independent selfcare and working from home. Vehicle modifications may also be included if required for independent mobility to and from work.
Veteran Support and Funding: There are countless organizations, including private, state and federal opportunities, that offer financial assistance for home modification and accessibility for our veterans. Just to name a few: The Gary Sinise Foundations, Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants, Special Home Adaption (SHA) grants, Home Improvement and Structural Alteration (HISA) grants, Veterans Affordable Housing, etc. The opportunity for federal and private funding assistance for veterans is pretty vast if you are willing to do the research!
Coalition for Home Repairs: A non-profit service that can assist individuals to find the funding, products, services and resources that best provide for their specific accessibility needs.
HelpHopeLive: A non-profit service that offers assistance in strategizing and implementing fundraising solutions for those who are unable to manage medical expenses including accessible home and vehicle modifications.
Non-Profit Foundation Grants: Diagnosis specific grants are available through non-profit organizations including but non limited to The Parkinson's Foundation, The Alzheimers Association, MS Foundation, etc. If you have a specific diagnosis, it may be worth exploring non-profit organizations that relate and support those with your specific diagnosis.
Volunteer Organizations: Rebuilding Together and Habitat For Humanity provide free, volunteer services for those with limited income to provide the actual labor and supplies to build/renovate homes for improved safety and accessibility.
Long-term Insurance Policies: These policies often include funding provisions for home modifications and support to facilitate independence and safety to remain at home.
Though this is not a comprehensive list, it's a great place to start when it comes to seeking out resources and guidance for funding options! If you would like to further discuss home modification or accessible home renovation qualifications and possibilities, please reach out to ForeverHome Design, LLC. We love to help our clients find practical solutions to achieve their needs and dreams!
ForeverHome Design, LLC