Do I Need Long-term Care Insurance?

annuities6Determining if you need long-term care insurance is not as complicated as it might seem, or as some might make it seem. Below, we have provided you with enough information for you to determine if it is a good option for you to consider.

Longevity and Lifestyles Changes
Because of many advances in our society, including better public health strategies, safety technology (car safety mechanisms, bicycle helmets, etc.), scientific and surgical technologies and medications, most of us are likely to live longer than previously predicted. We now live in a time when more people work outside of the home. Adult children often live far away from their parents, have full-time careers and are raising their own families. This makes the family unit “spread thinner” than before and can leave less support for those needing care.

Consequences of Extended Life Expectancies
Although we are generally living longer, that does not necessarily mean we are healthy and able to get around on our own. Longer lives often mean more dependency at some point. The longer we live, the greater the chance that we will need assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s), or custodial care. ADL’s are bathing, dressing, continence, eating, toileting and transferring (getting to and from the bed to the chair, chair to the toilet, etc.). Currently, family members (usually the women of the household) are burdened with providing the majority of this daily assistance to loved ones needing help with their ADL’s. This often takes place in the home and can continue for many years.

Impact on Loved Ones
People who are burdened with such daily responsibilities consistently report high levels of physical, emotional and mental stress. Depression among caregivers is common. Many of them have to take time away from work, suffer from exhaustion, and experience financial hardship.

Costs of Long-term Care Services
The best approach to providing long-term care services is to hire professionals to help with the ADL’s. This can take place in the home, at an assisted living facility or a nursing home. However, this approach can be very expensive to pay for out of pocket. Depending upon the person’s needs, the cost for home care services can be astronomical. Assisted living facilities range between $25,000 and $45,000 a year, and the average cost for just one year in a nursing home can be more than $75,000. These costs are going to continue to increase.

Who Will Pay For This Care?
Because traditional insurance plans like your health insurance, Medicare and Medicare supplements don’t pay for the ongoing custodial care, you will end up paying out of pocket for this care if you don’t have long-term care insurance. Your other types of insurance only pay for skilled medical services and short-term skilled rehab services; not custodial long-term care services. If you cannot pay out of pocket and don’t have long-term care insurance, you may be forced to become dependent on the state/federal welfare program called Medicaid. It is very tough to qualify for and primarily pays for nursing home care only.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family
Long-term care insurance is the only insurance product specifically designed to help protect you and your family from the financial, physical and emotional impoverishment associated with long-term care needs. Today’s comprehensive policies pay for a wide range of care giving services in most settings: at your own home, adult day care centers, hospice assisted living facilities, Alzheimer’s centers and nursing homes.

Now Is the Time to Consider Long Term Care Insurance
Qualifying for coverage and the premiums you pay are directly linked to your health and your age at the time you apply for coverage. So, it’s best to look into this option now or you may run the risk of not being able to qualify or having unaffordable premiums.

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