Private Long Term Care Insurance?
Written By: Marilyn Katz
The Need for Long Term Care Insurance
Do you need long term care insurance (LTC or LTCi) to help you meet your retirement and long term financial plans? I think that you are making a big gamble if you do not consider how you will pay for the possibility of needing some sort of long term nursing care or assisted living. Consider how this is becoming an even bigger risk as we age.
We are Living Longer, but Will Be More Likely to Need Care
Americans are living longer, and this is good news. You have probably heard the news that many term life insurers are actually reducing premiums because we have increased our average life spans. However, that happy news also comes with an increased chance we will spend an increased amount of time with nursing care. In fact, experts estimate that 50 – 70 percent of us will need some help as we age!
Nursing or Living Care Costs Money
Live in help, and especially nursing care, is not cheap. A traditional nursing home can cost $4,000 a month or more. That is in today’s dollars, and costs have been increasing. Many families have seen a lifetime of savings evaporate because of an extended stay in a nursing facility.
Other forms of care may not be much cheaper. If a person gets care from home health professionals, it can also cost thousands a month depending upon the type of care. A few hours a week to prepare meals may not cost much, but if care is needed 24 hours a day, imagine the cost of paying for 3 shifts of home health care workers that have to be there 7 days a week!
Assisted living facilities are usually less expensive, but still can cost thousands of dollars each month. And people must be qualified to enter them. Others may simply be too ill for assisted living, and must go to a more expensive full service nursing facility. It is impossible to predict these things.
Does Health Insurance Cover Extended Nursing Care?
Most health insurance, including Medicare, does not cover long term stays in a facility. Medicare covers a few months, but then stops paying. Medicaid, the federal health insurance for poor people, kicks in only after most assets are depleted. Health insurance is usually not a good solution to this problem.
What Kinds of LTCI Can You Find?
What kinds of LTCI can you find on the market? Major insurers offer a variety of policies. Waiting periods, daily rates, and covered maximum stays vary. Some cover any type of care that an individual needs, while others only cover specific types of care. One policy may only cover a nursing facility, while other policies may cover any choice that is made that makes sense for the covered person.
How Much Does Long Term Care Insurance Cost?
Again, rates will depend upon the type of policy you find, the insurer, and your local area. Beyond that, an applicant’s age, general health, and health status will affect the cost. You can find some simple online insurance quote forms to help you compare the policies and prices that you can find in your area.
If you have questions regarding Long-Term Care Insurance, please visit us at www.californialongtermcare.com.