Is It time to Consider Long-Term Care Insurance?
With one in four Americans requiring long-term care at some point in their lives, it's important to understand the financial consequences of needing that assistance.
Nationwide the average cost for a nursing home care stay is nearly $8,000 a month, while at-home (not home health) assistance with activities of daily living is a non-covered service by Medicare, as are home modifications, such as ramps, stair lifts, bathroom modifications or hand rails. Fortunately, long-term care insurance can help pay for these unexpected costs.
There are many reasons you should consider LTC insurance: it allows you to better protect your savings and assets; it helps you control both the type of care you receive and the location or setting where care can be provided, and it gives you and your family peace of mind knowing a plan is in place вЂ” should the need for long-term care arise.
Not sure you are a right fit for long-term care coverage? Ask yourself a few questions and see which ones apply to you:
Do you know anyone who has ever been in a nursing home?
- If so, did their insurance cover everything?
- If they didn't have LTC insurance, how did they cover the costs?
- Did they go to the best facility, or just one they could afford?
Do you know anyone who has needed temporary help after a medical procedure?
- Did their loved ones have to miss work to help take care of them?
- Did they need help with everyday things (dressing, bathing, going to the bathroom, eating, moving around, etc.)?
Do you have the resources to cover an extended stay in a facility should you fall ill or have an accident?
- Do you want to leave your loved ones something when you pass?
- Do you want your family to be financially responsible for this?
You might be thinking Medicare will help with you or your spouse's long-term care expenses. Unfortunately, that may not be the case.
You will find in the Medicare Buyers Guide that Medicare covers inpatient skilled nursing care вЂ” but only if it's necessary to treat an improving medical condition, services are provided at a Medicare-approved facility and the person spent three days as an inpatient at a hospital. Additionally, Medicare will only pay for 100 days of skilled nursing care.
You will also find Medicare covers home health care вЂ” but only if it's ordered by a Medicare-approved physician, the individual is incapable of leaving the home, services are rendered by a Medicare-approved provider and the person requires more than just assistance with activities of daily living.
Medicare doesn't cover assisted living or adult day care.
What may be of concern to you and your family is that according to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the government agency that administers these benefits, 70% of people 65 and older will need long-term care at some point.
Moreover, Medicare does not cover any services related to long-term care. So, if you answered yes to any of the questions above, it may be time to meet with us and plan for the changes you will experience with age.