Long-term care insurance covers the costs of long-term care services, most of which are not covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare. These include services in your home as well as care in a variety of facility and community settings.
There is a great deal of choice and flexibility in long-term care insurance policies. You can select a range of care options and benefits that allow you to get the services you need in the settings that suit you.
With long-term care insurance, you pay premiums in amounts you know in advance and can budget for, and the policy pays for the long-term care you need when you need it. Premiums may be waived during the time you are receiving benefits.
Will You need Long Term Care?
The estimated risk for needing Long Term Care climbs with each passing year. The Federal government estimates that each individual has a 70% chance of needing Long Term Care in their lifetime.
Who Is More At Risk for Needing Long Term Care?
According to insurance actuarials, you are more at risk if you:
- are older
- are a woman
- are single
- have a poor diet
- don’t exercise regularly
- have a family history of Alzheimer’s, stroke, arthritis, or other degenerative diseases
- physical activities that can cause severe accidents should be included as a definite risk
91% of Americans surveyed said they would prefer receiving Long Term Care at home. Therefore, it isn’t a surprise that most Long Term Care starts at home with the help of family or friends until the caregiving burden becomes too much of a hardship. The next step might be to hire a paid caregiver to help in the home. Yet many people can’t afford such a luxury, even if they hire unskilled, unlicensed, unsupervised caregivers. As care needs increase the next care setting of preference is Assisted Living Facilities, as they are more like hotels than the hospital-type setting. Most people do everything in their power to stay out of nursing homes.
While most Americans suspect that they might need long term care “sometime” in the future, many underestimate care costs and falsely assume that Medicare or their health insurance will pay for extended care. Medicare will only pay for a short time and only under specific, limited circumstances. The only governement agencies that pay for Long Term Care are Medicaid and the Veteran’s Administration.
Many of us have been raised to expect a decent quality of life and the freedom to make their own choices. We cherish independence, pleasure and the joys of family and friends. Paying for care costs out-of-pocket allows you to choose where to receive care, even when care giving needs increase. However, Long Term Care insurance is less expensive in the long-run.
The value of Long Term Care insurance:
1) Supports independence by providing the ability to pay for Home Care and Assisted Living costs. It give people choices.
2) Protects loved ones from the burdens of care giving.
Long Term Care insurance should be called “nursing home and family caregiving prevention insurance”, and for these benefits alone it is worth its price.
You should consider buying long term care insurance sooner than later as the premiums are higher when you get older, although once you buy a policy your premiums do not rise due to aging or health. For years, financial planners were telling their clients to wait until age 65, but this is no longer considered sound advice. The Federal and State Partnership Programs encourage people to buy as early as age 40 to ensure that people do not become a burden on themselves or their family.