After 20 years of caring for families at Pueblo Community Health Center, Dr. Rona Knudsen embraces her role as InnovAge PACE’s Center Medical Director, helping vulnerable older adults in the community. <br />
Costs of Care
November 17, 2020
According to one study, half of Medicare recipients are “worried that a major health situation in their household could lead to bankruptcy or debt.” AARP’s Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 study reveals that 45% of family caregivers have had at least one financial impact related to their caregiving. “The economic effects of family caregiving can result in financial strain with substantial short-term and long-term financial consequences,” reads the study.
Steve Medina, InnovAge's vice president of sales strategy, says he sees this in talking to people about the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE. “Seniors and their families are worried about the costs of healthcare and how they’re going to afford the care they need.”
This strain was shown in interviews InnovAge conducted last year with older adults and caregivers. Regardless of their financial situation, costs related to healthcare options and the desire to spend their money wisely was at the top of the list for their concerns about aging.
During open enrollment for Medicare, eligible seniors are evaluating options for joining a Medicare Advantage plan. Steve encourages them to consider PACE as an alternative. “Research shows that Medicare recipients’ highest healthcare expenses include dental bills, prescription drugs, hospital bills, and doctor bills. All of this is covered in PACE. There’s no need to get any supplemental coverage or plans.
With COVID-19, worries about affording future healthcare costs aren’t going away,” he says. “A lot of people we talk with aren’t familiar with PACE or how it works. It is a different model than Medicare, in that InnovAge acts as both payer and provider,” he explains. Another difference? The all-inclusive care.
“People don’t realize that with PACE, there are no co-pays, no deductibles, no pre-existing conditions,” he says. “For those that qualify, all medically-necessary care is covered, including prescription drugs delivered to their homes, hearing aids and dentures, all vision and dental care, and transportation to and from specialty appointments.
Our participants aren’t limited on the number of appointments they can have with a specialist. There are also no out-of-pocket costs, and the cost of PACE remains stable while people are enrolled,” he adds.
One PACE participant recently shared their experience with the program, saying, “We’ve been patients of InnovAge for about five years,” she says. “Not once have we had to pay for medicine. They have taken care of our dental needs and got our glasses at no cost to us. They provide for everything you need, whether it’s medical or mental. What I like best is how we are treated. We are treated with respect, concern, and understanding.”
Another participant shared, “I absolutely love InnovAge. Everyone is so responsive and positive. My money concerns are no longer an issue and that’s such a relief. I’m satisfied with everything.”
Caregiving for a family member brings challenges that can be difficult when faced alone. Robert and Janet share their stories about how PACE has helped care for her their family members.Read More
Family caregivers and participants share praise for InnovAge's Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE.Read More