A majority of Seniors have more than one major health issue… heart problems, cancer, diabetes, and dementia are the most common. These diagnoses, as well as other conditions, take a toll on physical, emotional and financial well-being. Seniors should consider long-term care insurance; often times is their best option.
The average life expectancy in the 1900s was 76. Chronic illness was not as treatable as it is today due to technology and successful medical research. Today life expectancy is an average of 84. Longer life spans and the cost of extended care often deplete a family’s finances within a short amount of time resulting in Long-Term Care becoming a serious consideration for Seniors.
Long-Term Care Insurance is Not Traditional Health Insurance
Traditional health insurance covers medical treatments, doctor visits, medication, and specific approved costs. Traditional health insurance does not cover the basic care associated with long-term illness, disease, or injury.
Long Term Care Insurance coverage varies with the most important differences being how and where services are provided. Assisted, Memory Assisted or Skilled Care board and room plus levels of care are the customary covered benefits. Policies may include cares received at home by home health services or by family members. Each policy differs in dollar amount, time limits and elimination periods.
Advantages of Long-Term Care Insurance
Seniors with Long-Term Care insurance have a tendency to acquire professional in-home care earlier or have a higher level of care. Long-Term Care Insurance minimizes the concern of depending on family members to provide assistance.
Long-Term Care insurance also safeguards finances. A single major medical event could quickly deplete all financial resources. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s commonly uses over $1 million worth of assets within a few years without Long-Term Care insurance.
Those who have liquidity and considerable net worth are able to protect cash reserves for normal expenditures while reducing the out of pocket health care expenses with Long-Term Care insurance.
Security and peace of mind are enjoyed when knowing a loved one or yourself are receiving quality care with a Long-Term Care policy.
Making the Decision for Long-Term Care Insurance
Although investment in a Long-Term Care insurance is prudent, attention to cost and product is advised. Employer-based insurance plans do not typically cover Long-Term Care. Determining if the cost is worth the benefits when cash-flow is already tight may be a challenge. Once insurance payments have begun, stay consistent and do not miss a payment. Coverage stops when payments cease.
There are alternatives to Long-Term Care insurance. Some insurance policies may have chronic illness riders. Certain categories of annuities could provide monthly payouts. A unique option is “medical tourism,” or moving to a different country where Long-Term Care is not as costly.
Facts to Consider
Long-term care insurance rates increase as you age. Purchase policies while in your 50s and in good health to enjoy lower premiums. Seniors over the age of 80 have a higher possibility of being denied Long-Term Care Insurance or offered higher premiums.
Women are affected by higher rates as they have longer life expectancies and a higher rate of depression. Two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women. Insurance companies believe since women live longer, they should pay more. Couple’s policies are available and allow spouses to purchase a shared plan. This helps to reduce the gender differential and individual cost.
The chances of needing a Long-Term Care policy are realistically either 0% or 100%. Consult a financial advisor to determine what type of Long-Term Care Insurance would be the best fit for you and your loved one.
Many decisions need to be made when approaching retirement age. Bridge to Better Living provides needed information and resources to help make decisions about a move to a Retirement Community. Call Bridge to Better Living today and schedule a free consultation. Find why Bridge to Better Living is the best first step when considering Retirement Living.