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!

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