Tag Archives: long term care

Understanding the Need to Prepare for Long Term Care

older-couple-ipadMuch like death or disability, thinking about a potential long term care event is difficult. It is critical to the financial, physical and emotional well-being of your family to put a financial plan in place prior before you require medical assistance. It may be difficult to anticipate what could happen in the future. Tending to long term care costs sooner than later ensures that you and those you love will not feel the financial burden if that time does come.

In the event that you are plagued with a physical impairment or chronic illness, you may need to rely on long term care. You may also require long term care if you experience a decline in intellect and require ongoing care, supervision, and assistance completing life’s daily tasks.

These are conditions that can be medicated, yet not cured. Ailments and diseases that fall under this category include the following:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Brain Tumors
  • Strokes
  • Spinal Cord Injuries

older-couple-drinks

Long term care provides the necessary attention for you while in need, at the same time lessening the burden on your family to step in and provide it instead.

Your children may feel obligated to take care of you, in turn allowing their own life goals to be placed on the back burner.  This sacrifice often takes a severe emotional and physical toll on a loved one to provide care while juggling all the other obligations they have. Having to reallocate your own funds (or those of your family) may also limit your ability to take care of other financial responsibilities.

When opting to purchase life insurance, you may do so in order to protect your family in the event of an unexpected death. Long term care insurance can be looked at with the same regard.

Long Term Care insurance can be purchased as a stand-alone policy that provides funds for extended care costs or as part of a Permanent Life policy. The death benefit here can be accessed for a qualified Long Term Care event prior to the insured’s death. If you become frail and require extended care services, the benefits from a Long Term Care policy can be accessed if the insured requires assistance in the six activities of daily living.

These are defined as:

          • Eating
          • Dressing
          • Bathing
          • Toileting
          • Continence
  • Transferring (getting in and out of bed, chair, etc.)

The benefits may also be accessed if you have a cognitive condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s that requires supervision to prevent harming yourself or others. Long Term Care insurance provides funds when the family needs it the most.

We encourage you to review this information carefully so that you can make good choices now that will keep you and your family feeling safe and cared for later on in your life.  Contact us today to help you consider your best options.

Busting Your Long-Term Care Myths

Long term care mythbusters
We have heard many reasons as to why people resist purchasing insurance coverage of all kinds. Some of the resistance comes from long held notions which people consider to be factual, while others are complete fiction. It seems that most situations, for which we require insurance unless mandated by law, offer us a “choice”. However, experience really is our best teacher and Long Term Care Insurance is no exception. Anyone who has witnessed care for the elderly knows, without a doubt, just how important this coverage can be.

Here are the most common misconceptions which lead people to believe that they don’t need this very important coverage.

  1. I don’t need Long Term Care; my family will take care of me!

This is a very popular notion and one that we hear over and over again. Back in the 1950’s if an elder needed a place to live they often moved in with their children. Today; however, things have become more complicated. Often families have fewer children with the result that the responsibility for parental care may become the job of only one or two siblings assuming they are available, have the finances, the time and the room to take care of their aging parent or relative.

  1. Medicare will pay for whatever I need when I am elderly!

Medicare is not designed to pay for Long Term care costs. According to the Medicare website, “Medicare doesn’t pay for help with activities of daily living or other care which people can do themselves. Medicare will only pay for skilled nursing or home health care if one meets certain specific criteria.”

  1. Medicaid will pay for what I need if I can’t afford to pay!

This is absolutely true! However, in order for someone to qualify for Medicaid they must first meet very stringent guidelines with respect to assets. Basically, they have to prove that they are indigent. Even if you qualify for a Medicaid discount, your family may still wind up kicking in over half the amount of your monthly rent at a skilled nursing facility. Are you aware that in some metropolitan areas monthly nursing home costs are between $10,000 and $15,000 per month?

  1. I can save enough money to take care of myself in my dotage!

Paying from personal savings is one way to cover long term care expenses. However, you should consider the cost of long term care services before relying on “private pay” as a method of funding care. Here are the current national averages for long term care services:

  • $20/hour for a home health aide
  • $61/day for care in an adult day care center
  • $3,270/month for care in an assisted living facility
  • $207/day for a private room in a nursing home
  • $235/day for a private room in a nursing home

We hope that we could clear up some of your questions and uncertainties. We would like you be informed now, rather than when the time comes that you or a loved one needs home care. If we haven’t answered your specific question or concern, please give us a call!

Long-Term Care Awareness Month

1905_enews-feature-graphicNovember is Long-Term Care Awareness Month. Isn’t it smart to plan for our”Golden Years?” After all, we are an aging population and chances are we will live well into our 80’s, 90’s or even longer. Without proper planning for ever-increasing medical and housing expenses, all the assets we have worked so hard to protect all these years will be at risk…. of disappearing!

What is Long Term Care?

Let’s start by briefly reviewing, It includes a range of services (in your home or in a facility) to assist you if, and when you suffer the ill effects of aging such as chronic or prolonged illness or disability leaving you unable to perform certain “Activities of Daily Living” for an extended period of time. These illness/disabilities can include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, cancer, or just a bad accident. The daily activities I am referring to are bathing, walking, eating, getting dressed, etc.  Statistically it is a fact that, 70% of people who reach age 65 will require long term care services at some point in their lives.

The best time to start planning…

… is between the ages of 40-60 when your health is good and premiums are lower. People often ask “how much does LTC insurance cost?” That is entirely up to how much coverage you buy, how your policy is designed, your age and health when you apply. It is suggested that you review the current cost of care in the area where you expect to retire, estimate the number of years you would want your coverage to last and then target an amount of money you would need to help pay for long term care expenses.

LONG TERM CARE

In addition, keep in mind, a LTC policy is only as expensive as you make it. Incorporating flexibility into the design and product features enables the coverage to be affordable and within most budgets.

Do not be fooled into thinking that your medical insurance or government programs are designed to pay for any or all of your long term care needs/expenses. Medicare will only pay for skilled nursing care while Medicaid only covers those whose assets are at or below state-required levels. None of these programs provide coverage for care in your own home.

The first step is up to you. Call your trusted professional independent insurance agent today to get the LTC planning process started.