As Minnesota wrestles with the challenges of providing quality care to a soaring senior population, it is important to understand the variety of ways that senior care is paid for.
Some seniors are able to pay for services and support out-of-pocket, while others may have long-term care insurance. For lower-income seniors and their families, the government subsidizes senior care in two primary ways:
1. Funding provided to nursing home facilities
2. Assistance provided directly to individuals to help them pay for non-nursing home care
Financial aid that is distributed directly to individuals to help them pay for non-nursing home care comes from a program called Elderly Waiver (EW). This state-funded program supports a variety of community-based programs that offer various kinds of assistance to seniors.
Flexible community-based choices – like the types that EW supports – help seniors stay at home and remain a part of their community. Further, these programs play a critical part of a successful and affordable senior care strategy.
In 2018, the monthly cost to the state of Minnesota for an Elderly Waiver client was about 25% of the monthly nursing home cost. Overall, the Elderly Waiver program currently saves the state over $600 million annually.
When it comes to our priorities, the math is simple: 60,000 Minnesotans will turn 65 this year, next year and for the next 15 years. These future seniors will live longer and more independently than ever before, and they will need different kinds of care as they get older.
Learn more about Elderly Waiver on page 5: Understanding Senior Care in Minnesota