Long Term Care

Today the responsibility of long term care planning is up to you. While you may understand the seriousness of long term care, you may not be quite sure what to do about it. Unless your financial plan already includes long term care insurance, you can start here, right now. Our website is designed to assist you in understanding some of the key issues and misconceptions about long term care and what you can and cannot count on.

IS LONG TERM CARE EXCLUSIVELY AN ISSUE FOR THE ELDERLY?

You may feel that you are too young to think about long term care. But, sadly, long term care problems can materialize at any age.

  • Approximately 40% of people needing long term care are between the ages of 18 and 64.1
  • About one-quarter of the 700,000 stroke victims each year in the United States are under age 65.2

Because no one can predict when they might need long term care, it is not just a problem for the “older generation.” The younger you are when you purchase a long term care insurance policy, the more affordable it is likely to be. It is also likely you will have medical problems that may disqualify you from coverage.

It is important to remember that in most cases, you can’t get long term care insurance once you have a problem that requires long term care services. Do not make the mistake of waiting until it’s too late.

DOES LONG TERM CARE MEAN BEING PUT INTO A NURSING HOME?

When you think of long term care, the first thing you probably think of is a nursing home. While it is true long term care services may be received in a nursing home or assisted living facility, for most of us, it is a last resort.

Today, long term care includes a much wider range of services. Long term care services can take place in the home, a community setting or in a facility. Since long term care is assistance in performing everyday functions such as bathing, eating and dressing, some people may need it around the clock. Others may need it while recovering from an injury or illness and could involve a caregiver coming into their home several times a week.

WHAT ARE THE ODDS THAT I WILL NEED LONG TERM CARE?

It’s human nature to be optimistic about how healthy we are going to be but the truth is, as we get older, so do our bodies.

  • Roughly 70% of individuals over the age of 65 will require some type of long term care services during their lifetime.3

It is a natural part of the aging process to find ourselves needing assistance with daily life.

IF I HAVE A DECENT SIZE NEST EGG, CAN’T I JUST PAY FOR LONG TERM CARE SERVICES MYSELF?

Sure, you might be able to pay for it yourself, but quality long term care is not inexpensive. In fact, it is very expensive and for most of us, can drain a lifetime of savings.

  • The national cost of a private room in a nursing home can cost an average of $217 per day, or over $79,000 annually and a visit by a home health aide averages $21 per hour.4

Many of us underestimate long term care costs and could end up depleting our retirement savings and income.

With long term care insurance, you may be able to pay for long term care services without exhausting your assets or savings. It helps give you freedom of choice without sacrificing your lifestyle, or that of your loved ones. You have worked too hard to lose everything to pay for long term care services.

WON’T MY HEALTH INSURANCE OR MEDICAID AND MEDICARE PAY FOR LONG TERM CARE SERVICES?

The fact is, many people mistakenly believe that they are covered for long term care services when they are not.

The reality is that since long term care is not considered medical care, most health plans don’t pay for it. But perhaps the biggest misconception about long term care is that the government will pay for it.

Medicare will cover some health care costs for retirees, but only what is considered “medically necessary.” It was not designed to pay for extended long term care and should not be counted on as a resource to meet this need.

Medicaid is the Federal-State health insurance program designed to pay for nursing home care for those who are very poor. Medicaid dictates the type, amount, and location of care and can only be used in limited cases to pay for an assisted living/residential care facility or home health care.

HOW ABOUT MY CHILDREN, CAN’T THEY TAKE CARE OF ME?

When you consider this option, have you thought about the real consequences?

  • Among working caregivers, more than half have made at least some work-related changes to accommodate the demands of caregiving.5

If the care is for an extended period of time, could your children handle the stress on themselves or other members of their family? Do you want your children to have to pay for your long term care knowing they may be sacrificing their retirement plans or grandchildren’s college fund? After asking these questions, many people realize that, ultimately, their children should not be counted on for their long term care needs. In fact, for many, the sole reason they purchase long term care insurance, is to avoid becoming a financial or emotional burden to their children.

WHEN IT COMES TO LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE IT IS IMPORTANT TO DETERMINE WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU

By now, you probably have a basic understanding of long term care and the importance of long term care insurance. LongTermCareInsure.com understands that when it comes to buying long term care insurance everyone has a unique situation. That is why we have positioned ourselves as a leader in the long term care insurance industry by representing over 85% of the long term care companies offering long term care insurance policies. To discuss your long term care insurance needs with a professional advisor you can complete our long term care insurance quote request form or contact us toll free at (877) 579-9574.

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information, 11/14/07.
2 Ibid
3 Long-Term Care Facility Costs – A Nationwide Quantitative Evaluation of U.S. Facilities. March 2008. Prudential Financial Global Market Research.
4 Ibid