Long Term Care Insurance – Let's Understand In Detail!
Use this comprehensive guide to long term care insurance, as well as an understanding of costs, shopping tips, and guidance toward finding you the best and most affordable quotes.
As the average life span increases, more and more people are discovering that living longer does not always mean living better. While seniors now have more time to enjoy their retirement, it can also signify an increased risk for illness or injury, and a residual increased need for medical treatment beyond what can be offered by a routine doctors visit.
About 10 million Americans over age 65 now depend on long term care services, a figure which is expected to double by 2040, according to The Urban Institute. The Council of Economic Advisors reports that an estimated 70% of people who reach the age of 65 will eventually need some form of long term care. According to Blue Cross, nearly half of the individuals who received long term care were age 65 or younger.
What is long term care?
Illness or injuries later on in life can result in multiple doctor visits and, depending on the severity of your ailments, lengthy hospital stays. Long term care refers to the wide range of health care services designed to help individuals who, because of a physical or cognitive impairment, need assistance with basic daily activities, such as dressing, using the bathroom, eating and bathing.
How expensive could long term care really be?
Long term care costs in America alone were as high as $206.6 billion in 2005, and are projected to double by 2050. According to several major nursing home long term care cost studies, long term care presently costs $200 a day, making average annual costs add up to $73,000 per year. Also, the average stay in a nursing home is over two years in length, costing as much as $182,500. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services state that in 2009, it cost $3131 per month for a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility, $21 per hour for home health aide, $19 per hour for homemaker services and $67 a day for care in an adult day health care center.
Don’t government programs provide enough to pay for long term care costs?
One of the most common misconceptions about long term care is that Medicare and Medicaid make purchasing your own long term care coverage unnecessary. What many people don’t understand is how limited Medicare coverage really is. Medicare requires you to have spent three consecutive days in the hospital before it will pay anything. Afterwards, Medicare pays only if you’re admitted to a certified nursing home within 30 days of having been released from the hospital.
Even after you’ve entered a nursing home, though, Medicare pays limited benefits. For the first 20 days in a nursing home, you will be taken care of, but after that time, you must pay $128 per day for your care, with Medicare simply covering the rest. If you’re still in a nursing home beyond 100 days, Medicare will pay no further.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to return home, Medicare’s benefits can help you even less. Your doctor must authorize the treatments, and you must be completely unable to leave your home. If you need help with basic activities such as eating or bathing, Medicare will not help you.
Medicaid, on the other hand, does pay for long term nursing home care but in order to qualify, a person has to have a very low income and very little in the way of financial resources. Before Medicaid begins to pay, you must have exhausted any savings you have, any retirement income you’re receiving, your Social Security payments and any other pension you to which you may be entitled.
If you do qualify for Medicaid benefits, you have very little say about where you receive your care. Some facilities have Medicaid-approved beds, while others do not. The likelihood that you’ll stay in your own home is very slim. Home care services tend to be very limited under most state Medicaid programs.
So how can long term care insurance help me?
Unlike some insurance coverage, which will only pay when you receive treatments in specific places like a hospital, long term care insurance provides the help you need whether you’re in a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or your home. A long term care or chronic disability doesn't have to rob you of your dignity or financial resources if you’re properly protected with this insurance.
A quality long term care insurance policy helps you relieve the financial – and emotional – burden on your loved ones, while also providing you with more independence and control over your own care decisions. This protection will afford you the option of staying at your home and receiving care there, instead of dealing with a potential nightmare with nursing home care.
Finally, long term care insurance provides many tax benefits and it will insure your retirement nest egg.
You Have to Look Out for Yourself
If your plans for the future include remaining independent while aging, protecting yourself financially, and having a say in what kind of care you get and where you would like to receive it, then long term insurance is something you need to consider purchasing.
This insurance is most important for individuals who:
- are older than 45 and younger than 75 years old
- have financial assets that they want to preserve as an inheritance for their heirs
- have multiple streams of retirement income, including employment, investments and Social Security
The cost of policy depends on a number of factors, including your age, your health, the benefits that you’re interested in receiving, and the duration of benefits that you select. Once you’ve purchased a policy, your premiums will remain the same regardless of changes in your health, and will only increase when they do so for all policy holders in the same class in your state.
Though most users of long term care are older, many are much younger. After all, an accident or illness can occur at any point in a person’s life, so it makes sense to protect yourself regardless of your current age or health status.
Finding the best and most affordable quotes takes latest technology, understanding of policy features, and knowledge of various companies’ policies and above all needs of our clients. We guaranteed you save you up to 35% on your long term care insurance policy rates for first years and all subsequent years. Call (877) 972-3262 to speak with an experienced specialist, who not only help you learn more about long term care but also help you find the best and most affordable quotes for you or complete this quotes request form now.