Long term care is the care you receive when you cannot take care of yourself for an extended period of time.
This care can come from a number of sources such as an adult day care center, assisted living facility, community care, home care, hospice care facility, hospital long term care unit or nursing home. Long term care insurance enables you to transfer some of the financial risk of long term care costs to an insurance company so that you may protect your accumulated wealth from this potentially devastating expense. The cost of long term care in 2018 reached an estimated $849 billion, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), when accounting for both paid services as well as the value of unpaid care.
Will Medicare pay for Long Term Care?
Medicare primarily focuses on hospital stays and physician visits. Medicare is not designed nor intended to cover long term care. Currently, Medicare only pays for long-term care if you require skilled services or rehabilitative care. In a nursing home for a maximum of 100 days, however, the average Medicare covered stay is much shorter (22 days). Medicare does not pay for non-skilled assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL), which make up the majority of long-term care services. You will have to pay for long-term care services that are not covered by a public or private insurance program.
Will Medicaid pay for Long Term Care?
Medicaid is a government “welfare” health care program for indigent persons, established by the federal government, but administered by the states and funded by both federal and state governments. Benefit levels and eligibility requirements vary with the states. When a person requires long term care and does not have private insurance, funding for the care must first come from the individual’s own income, savings and assets. Only when the person has “spent down” or exhausted his or her income, savings and most assets to a minimal amount, will Medicaid funding become available. In addition, Medicaid limits your choice of facilities and often pays too little to cover the cost of high-quality care.
What Is A Solution?
Long term care insurance enables you to transfer some of the financial risk of long term care costs to an insurance company. In exchange for premium payments, long term care insurance enables you to preserve your accumulated wealth from this potentially devastating expense.
Who Should Consider Buying Long Term Care Insurance?
- People who don’t want to burden their children or family
- People who want to protect their assets
- People who want to avoid going on Medicaid
- People who want to have peace of mind
- People who want to have control of their care
- People who want to maintain their independence
How Do You Become Eligible For Benefits?
You must be certified as a chronically ill individual within the preceding 12 months by a licensed health care practitioner. Chronically ill means you are unable to perform two or more of the six activities of daily living for an expected period of at least 90 days or you require substantial supervision to protect yourself from threats to your health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment. The six activities of daily living include: bathing, dressing, toileting, the ability to move in and out of a bed, chair or wheelchair, eating and continence. Written certification must be renewed or updated at least every 12 months.