When it comes to long term care, it’s almost never too early to start planning. Why? Because the older we get, the more likely we are to need long term care, but the younger and healthier we are, the more affordable Long Term Care Insurance will be.
What exactly is long term care? It’s the type of help you need if you are unable to care for yourself because of a prolonged illness, accident or disability. Most Long Term Care Insurance policies pay benefits based on:
- The inability to perform at least two out of six activities necessary for independent living, including: dressing, bathing, feeding, toileting, transferring and continence, or
- If a covered person is certified to need continual supervision due to a severe cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Most policies cover*:
- Home Care
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Nursing Home Care
- Therapist, Homemaker and Companion Services
- Adult Day Care
- Hospice Care
- The Services of a Care Manager
*Definition of coverage may vary by company
Long Term Care Insurance Myths
There are a few misconceptions about LTCI. Some people still call it “nursing home insurance” because that’s what LTCI started out as decades ago, but current policies are far broader than that. In fact, LTCI is a surefire way to stay out of nursing homes, thanks to home care benefits within the plan.
Another common myth: many people assume that long term care is covered by their health insurance, government healthcare program, Medicare or Medicare Supplement plan. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Medicaid does cover nursing home care, but only after you “spend down” your assets to low income levels. Until then, you are required to pay out of pocket for care. That’s why, for many, LTCI is the easiest, most cost-effective method of long term care planning. Learn more about Medicare and Medicaid.
Who Should Buy Long Term Care Insurance?
If you have a comfortable income and accumulated assets, Long Term Care Insurance is probably a smart option for you. LTCI will protect those assets, while relieving your loved ones of the emotional and financial burden of providing care.
Many financial professionals view LTCI as an essential part of a comprehensive financial plan. We provide LTC resource services to thousands of financial planners, accountants and attorneys around the country who ask us to help them review LTCI options for their clients. Is LTC coverage a smart choice for you? Let us help you find out!