You’re probably hearing more and more about Long-Term Care Insurance, especially if you are a Baby Boomer. It’s important that you learn about all of your options while planning for your future. It’s equally important that you know whether or not your loved one has a policy if you are their caregiver.
Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) began in the early 1970’s, following the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid. The original policies covered care only in nursing homes. Over time, policies have evolved to provide easier qualification, payment for more diverse services, and benefits lasting for longer periods of time. Long-term care services are received in a variety of settings, including your home, adult day care programs, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, Alzheimer’s facilities, hospice facilities and skilled nursing facilities.
You are probably wondering why you would want to buy LTCI.
- Peace of Mind- LTCI can offer affordable protection by covering services to help provide quality care.
- Asset Protection- Retirement funds and life savings can easily diminish due to the high out of pocket cost of nursing homes, assisted living, and even home care. LTCI helps protect you from the need to utilize your assets for care needs.
- Burden- Most people don’t want to burden their spouse or children with the cost of care.
- Choice- With LTCI, you have a choice of care options. With Medicaid, the freedom of choice is lost, along with personal assets.
Who Should Consider Purchasing LTCI?
It’s difficult to predict how much care you will need in the future and whether or not you’ll have family or friends to help with your care needs. There are many factors to consider when looking into LTCI. Some people who might want to consider LTCI are:
- Those with significant assets and income to protect from the costs of long-term care services.
- Those who want to maintain their independence and not have to rely on family or friends for physical or financial support.
- Those who can afford to pay the premiums, even into retirement. Be sure to take into consideration the possibility of premium increases.
Should I wait?
Waiting to purchase LTCI may become an expensive decision. Most people don’t buy LTCI because the don’t understand that importance of planning for their future. Delaying your purchase of LTCI could result in ineligibility to due to health reasons. Some health factors that could deem you uninsurable include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease or other permanent cognitive impairment
- Malignant, inoperable, incurable, recurrent, and metastatic cancers
- Parkinson’s Disease
- HIV or AIDS
- Arthritis- Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis when degenerative or with functional limitations
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Strokes and TIAs (“mini strokes”)
- Diabetes with significant insulin use or complications
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Certain eating disorders and severe psychiatric conditions
- Current use of assistive devices- canes, walkers, wheelchairs
- Already receiving care at home, in assisted living, or nursing home
For more information about LTCI, visit:
National Clearing House for Long Term Care Information http://www.longtermcare.gov/LTC/Main_Site/index.aspx
National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program
Home Helpers accepts Long-Term Care Insurance. We work closely with you and your insurance company to help cover some of the costs of home care. For more information about Home Helpers, click HERE.