No one really looks forward to getting old, especially when it might entail needing care and assistance. When we are still active and healthy, we want to believe it will always be that way, and it is easy to forget that nothing lasts forever. Nonetheless, health deteriorates over time even when we take good care of it. It is estimated that by 2050, 27 million people are going to be using paid long-term care services in the U.S. It is likely that you might need assistance at one point in your life, hence it is important to think about how you will pay for it.
When assessing the possibility of needing care when older, many people choose to take out long-term care insurance. Most people do it in their mid-50s to mid-60s. If you are weighing your options, or perhaps have a policy that you want to replace with a better option, then continue reading this article.
Long-term care insurance is a policy designed to cover the cost of supportive services when a chronic illness, trauma, or condition limits a person’s ability to carry out basic self-care tasks by themself. Long-term care does not cure an illness but helps to attain and maintain a certain level of functioning. The main long-term care services include home health agencies, nursing homes, hospices, residential care communities, and day service centers for adults.
Health insurance, including Medicare, covers most standard medical services and sometimes even short-term stays in a nursing home. However, it does not usually cover long-term nursing home stays or in-home health services. If you become unable to look after yourself or complete daily living tasks without assistance, you are going to need long-term care insurance to have coverage. Otherwise, the costs can add up quickly and you might end up relying on your loved ones for their financial support, custodial care, or both.
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The care you will receive under a long-term care insurance policy can be provided either by a certified home care agency or a licensed professional. Alternatively, the company can hire an independent or non-licensed provider.
The tasks people usually need help with are referred to as “Activities of Daily Living” (ADL-s). ADL-s include brushing teeth, bathing, cooking food, purchasing food, and other activities related to personal hygiene and nutrition. Struggling with two or more basic activities might already necessitate care.
The following care arrangements are usually covered:
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The amount of coverage wholly depends on the policy you take out. Common coverage exclusions include alcohol abuse, mental disorders, and self-inflicted injuries. Additionally, diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes might also be excluded from the standard policy. Before you buy insurance, carefully review the conditions and exceptions, and when needed, ask for clarifying information.
Finally, you might be denied insurance if you already have a chronic condition or need long-term care services.
Insurance companies evaluate a range of factors when determining the cost of long-term care insurance. These include:
When purchasing long-term care insurance, you want to get the best value for money. Consider these tips:
Ready to insure yourself or still undecided? You can email us or fill out the quote form on our website to explore the different options for long-term insurance. It’s never too early to plan for the future!
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