There are many reasons why you should consider long term care 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 – should the need for long term care arise.
Nationwide the average cost for a Nursing Home care stay is now over $6,000 a month, Home care (not home health), but assistance with Activities of Daily Living is a non-covered service by Medicare, nor are home modifications are non-covered services by Medicare, such as ramps, stair lifts, bathroom modifications or hand rails. With Long-Term Care beneficiaries can still maintain a decent lifestyle without exhausting their estate just before death due to modifications that were necessary to help keep the loved one at home.
Not sure you are a right fit for Long Term Care Insurance, ask yourself a couple of questions and see if which one does apply to you:
- Do you know anyone who has ever been in a nursing home?
- Did their insurance cover everything? If not, 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?
- 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 – but only if it’s necessary to treat an improving medical condition and services are provided at a Medicare approved facility and the person spent 3 days as an impatient at a hospital (page 35). You will also find Medicare covers home health care – but only if it’s ordered by a Medicare approved physician and the person is incapable of leaving the home and services are rendered by a Medicare approved provider and the person requires more than just assistance with activities of daily living. (page 32). What may are surprised to know is Medicare doesn’t cover assisted living or adult day care
What may be of concern to you and your family is according to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the government agency that administers these benefits, 70% of people 65+ will need Long-Term Care Service at some point (page 122). 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 your trusted advisor and plan for the changes you will experience with age.