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Old 14.08.2019, 06:42
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Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

I am just looking forward a couple decades.. in the best case each of us will end up in an old folk's home here in good old Switzerland (if we choose to stay here), and I know they are ridiculously expensive, starting at 6K a month for no special care, and the sky is the limit. I know if you are a citizen your local village will cover your costs, but only after you've burned through your entire net worth first. Question: does anyone know if your private health insurance will cover at least some of the costs of long-term care? Or should I visit Dignitas at that stage so at least the kids inherit something.
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Old 14.08.2019, 07:22
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

This Beobachter article, "Who pays for care in old age?", might be of interest (German):

https://www.beobachter.ch/geld/versi...flege-im-alter
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Old 14.08.2019, 08:07
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

EXIT, which is limited to legal Swiss residents, is a much better deal than dignitas. And much less in the public eye. My wife and I have been EXIT members for a few years now.
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Old 14.08.2019, 08:10
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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EXIT, which is limited to legal Swiss residents, is a much better deal than dignitas. And much less in the public eye. My wife and I have been EXIT members for a few years now.
Whats EXIT go to do with this conversation!?
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Old 14.08.2019, 09:26
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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Whats EXIT go to do with this conversation!?
Just read the first post till the end for once.
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Old 14.08.2019, 09:37
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

One approach is to slowly give away your wealth to your inheritors while you are still alive, and to keep as much as you deem a decent amount for such care for yourself (that's what I would do). This, I suppose, works well if there are no family feuds.

Check with your canton to see the rules and limitations - i.e. the max you can give away in a set period of time without incurring penalties.
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Old 14.08.2019, 08:11
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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I am just looking forward a couple decades.. in the best case each of us will end up in an old folk's home here in good old Switzerland (if we choose to stay here), and I know they are ridiculously expensive, starting at 6K a month for no special care, and the sky is the limit. I know if you are a citizen your local village will cover your costs, but only after you've burned through your entire net worth first. Question: does anyone know if your private health insurance will cover at least some of the costs of long-term care? Or should I visit Dignitas at that stage so at least the kids inherit something.
That should read " in the worst case"?
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Old 14.08.2019, 09:55
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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Or should I visit Dignitas at that stage so at least the kids inherit something.
Let the little buggers sort themselves out. You have brought them up and given them an education after that it’s up to them, I don’t see any reason why an old couple should go without in old age in order to pass on an inheritance. The bank and hotel of mum and dad should have stopped long ago.

And no health insurance does not cover the costs of a retirement home, they cover health issues as they do for everyone else. They’d go to the wall very quickly if they had to start paying out say 6k a month per person for 20 years or so.
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Old 14.08.2019, 11:25
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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Let the little buggers sort themselves out. You have brought them up and given them an education after that it’s up to them, I don’t see any reason why an old couple should go without in old age in order to pass on an inheritance. The bank and hotel of mum and dad should have stopped long ago.

And no health insurance does not cover the costs of a retirement home, they cover health issues as they do for everyone else. They’d go to the wall very quickly if they had to start paying out say 6k a month per person for 20 years or so.
basically, this.

If you run out of money, you won't be sleeping under a bridge of course. Social support will kick in before that happens. But it may mean you're no longer in the retirement home of your choice. You may instead end up in some bottom of the barrel place.

If that's not where you want to spend the last years of your life, make sure you have the means to pay for better.
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Old 14.08.2019, 11:40
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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... But it may mean you're no longer in the retirement home of your choice. You may instead end up in some bottom of the barrel place.

If that's not where you want to spend the last years of your life, make sure you have the means to pay for better.
...or Thailand. Wasn't there a piece of news a while back about shipping the retirees off to a cheaper place?
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Old 14.08.2019, 11:47
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

Why go to a retirement home rather than live at home?

Tom
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Old 14.08.2019, 11:56
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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Why go to a retirement home rather than live at home?

Tom
Thats is what my mother has done for the last 6, she has 24/7 care at home in London.
A care home is way cheaper when you consider London living wage is £10.55 an hour x 24 x 365 £92,418 then you need to add the cost of running a house. Wheel chair lift was £12,000 2 years ago.
She is 90 & not had a cold in 5 years.
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Old 14.08.2019, 12:08
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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Why go to a retirement home rather than live at home?

Tom
Aging in place is what it‘s called in the US. If you have the support and the means, it‘s a good option for many.
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Old 14.08.2019, 12:13
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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Why go to a retirement home rather than live at home?

Tom
I always assumed that nobody voluntarily gives up the comfort of their own home to go and live in a single room in a place full of old phobies, where you are told by nurse when to go to sleep, when to get up and what and when to eat.

People who do that don't have a choice. They have reached the point that they cannot look after themselves adequately.
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Old 14.08.2019, 12:29
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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Why go to a retirement home rather than live at home?

Tom
Well I don’t know anyone who did it by choice! I’d say it comes down to a situation where there is no other choice usually due to health reasons.
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Old 14.08.2019, 19:03
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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Why go to a retirement home rather than live at home?

Tom
That's exactly what we thought with respect to my mom. She lived (alone) in a big house with a beautiful garden, lots of pets and memories etc. Then the falls started. Then her drivers license was revoked due to near-accidents. We hired help and a nurse to check on her regularly, but the place started falling apart.. she would put multiple bowls of cat food throughout the house which became a magnet for bugs. Dementia set in and she could no longer take her large regimen of pills on time, or she would forget completely. The house became a mess. She could no longer cook or shop or clean for herself and would just fry a slab of bacon, leave it on the counter and pick at it for days. Her large house and garden meant she was also isolated from other people which affected her mental health (all kids live far away). So the decision to move her to an assisted living home was unavoidable. Luckily, she had purchased long-term care insurance 20 years before - the place she lives in costs 5K per month for basic care (in Florida). I would certainly want to remain in my home as well, but I have witnessed how circumstances can change to make that option impossible.
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Old 14.08.2019, 11:29
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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They’d go to the wall very quickly if they had to start paying out say 6k a month per person for 20 years or so.

iirc the average stay is only 18 month
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Old 14.08.2019, 12:22
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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iirc the average stay is only 18 month
My neighbor has been in one now for over 10 years. He has great difficulty to walk and they have no family. Their house was sold this spring and the wife now lives in rented accommodation.
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Old 14.08.2019, 11:59
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

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Let the little buggers sort themselves out. You have brought them up and given them an education after that it’s up to them, I don’t see any reason why an old couple should go without in old age in order to pass on an inheritance.
Amen!

The peace of mind knowing that 'the old folks' are secure in their last years is a far better gift to give the young'uns.

Make your plans, let the kids know what your wishes are, be as open with them about your financial plan for your old age as is reasonable or comfortable. If they know they don't have to worry about you then you have given them the freedom to follow their own paths and dreams.

You might consider a middle step before the Altersheim: Look into what care you might be able to hire to allow you to stay in your home. Small accessibility and security changes to the house, hiring help for certain tasks, can buy you years, even decades of staying in your own home. Often one does not need full nursing care, but rather help with a few things and a watchful eye. Level of need dependent, that can often be had at less cost than the Altersheim. And certainly for me that would be a more pleasant option.

(As FMF says, though, private 24/7 care will cost a small fortune. Maybe not so small either.)

Some of my friends and I joke about doing the 'Golden Girls' thing together one day, when the time comes, in one country or another. It actually might be a good idea - 'Senior WGs' where friends or even unrelated seniors share housing, daily tasks, resources, provide each other with companionship and care, are becoming a thing in Switzerland. I've read articles where the group even hires a sort of nurse/manager to watch over the group.

Something to think about.

But yeah - planning for the latter years is a topic we all need to explore, unpleasant as thinking about the end can be. We can't stick our heads in the sand and just hope for the best, leaving others to pick up the pieces.

(I speak from experience.)
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Old 14.08.2019, 12:43
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Re: Does your Krankenkasse help finance your stay in a retirement home?

Here's a link to the cost (broken down into components) in the City of Zurich's nursing homes.
https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/gud/de/...l#gesamtkosten

The total costs are
  • those standard daily rates;
  • extras that are not included, and also not covered by the medical insurance, e.g. certain types of bandages, or a haircut;
  • actual nursing costs are covered by the medical insurance, but only up to a maximum ceiling;
  • some types of nursing which exceed those limits.

The old person pays this bill out of
  • his/her own pension (the AHV = mandatory social service pension.
  • a top-up benefit called Helplessness Compensation: anyone who is drawing an old-age pension from the government AHV (or for that matter a disability pension, called IV in German and AI in French) can apply for a so-called Helplessness Compensation ("Hilflosenentschädigung", abbreviated HLE) if they need direct or indirect help in basic daily functions such as dressing, washing, eating and mobility. Depending on the degree of frailty, the HLE can be "light", "medium" or "heavy", and each gives an extra flat-rate payment per month.
  • a pension according to the BVG (= mandatory pension plan, if they were employed)
  • any privately insured pensions schemes or lump-sum payouts,
  • the yields of their investments.

If those sources of income do not suffice, then it is expected that the person goes on to use up their savings to pay for the nursing home. This, however, only on until the person has depleted their saving down to certain "permissible" set amounts of assets, i.e. the bit they're allowed to keep and not have to spend it on their nursing home.

On reaching that point, the person can apply for so-called "Ergänzungsleistungen" (known as EL, = top-up benefits to the AHV or IV).

The calculation for the HLE is made only about the degree of help needed, and completely independently of their income and assets.
The calculation for the EL is purely means-tested.

If the patients' own means, plus the HLE, plus the EL are not enough, then the municipality ("Gemeinde") picks up the rest of the tab.

P.S. Please would someone who speaks French and Italian supply the vocab for these terms? Thank you.
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