Long-Term Care Insurance

When I suddenly had to become a fulltime caregiver to my elderly parents, both with health problems and starting to develop dementia  I had never even heard of Long-Term Care Insurance. After we burned through their life savings, and then started chipping away at mine, I was advised to apply for financial assistance for them through the government’s Medicaid system–a program for those at the poverty level

Levels of the Long-Term Care Insurance

Since their levels of Long-Term Care Isurance were so different  there weren’t any facilities that would allow them to be together. They’d be across the street from each other in different wings of the home.

Had I only known to insist that we buy Long-Term Care Insurance for them prior to their illnesses–their years of in-home care could have been paid for, and I could have saved myself so much heartache, not to mention a small fortune.

Starting Statics of the Long-Term Care Insurance

An estimated 4.5 to 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. In a Gallup poll, 1 in 10 Americans said that they had a family member with Alzheimer’s, and 1 in 3 knew someone with the disease.

An estimated 43% of Americans age 65 or older will spend time in a nursing home. By 2012, 75% of Americans over age 65 will require long-term care. Long-Term Care Insurance costs are rising at 6% annually.

The annual cost of Alzheimer’s care in the U.S. is at least $100 billion, and will soar to at least $375 billion by mid-century, overwhelming our health Long-Term Care Insurance system and bankrupting Medicare and Medicaid. The aim of long-term care insurance is to protect the policy owner from footing the complete bill of an extended stay in a healthcare facility, such as a nursing home or rehabilitation center.

 Three Ways To Pay Long-Term Care Insurance

Pay for in-home caregivers and assisted living/nursing homes out of pocket. This is expensive and can often deplete a family’s life savings.

Meet a very specific poverty level and qualify for government assistance through the Medicaid program. Unfortunately, options are limited, only paying for nursing homes that accept Medicaid.

Buy a Comprehensive Long-Term Care Insurance policy. It must be bought before a major illness strikes. Medicare and regular health insurance does not pay for Long-Term Care Insurance . The average cost for a person who needs long-term care is $40-$70,000 annually, depending on where you live, plus the cost to the family caregiver who may have to leave their job.

Question To Ask Your Long-Term Care Insurance Agent

Is the coverage comprehensive, meaning it includes all levels of the Long-Term Care Insurance: in the home, assisted living, board & care, and nursing facilities?

What is the daily benefit?

Does it cover home Long-Term Care Insurance coordination of services?

How many ADL’s does it take to trigger a claim?

Does it cover the cost of Adult Day Long-Term Care Insurance & Adult Day Health Care, hospice and respite programs?


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