5-Minute Quick Course on Long Term Care Insurance
Written by Joseph P. Blanchette, CLTC - NHA | Long Term Care Insurance Specialists
Do I Need Long Term Care Insurance?
While some try to make the case for Long Term Care insurance complicated, the reasons to secure Long Term Care insurance are quite simple and intuitive. In fact, the case can be made in less than five minutes. Consider the following key points and decide for yourself.
We are living longer than ever
- For a host of reasons, including better public health strategies, safety technology (seat belts, bicycle helmets, etc.), miracle surgical technologies and prescription drugs, most of us are likely to live well into our 80s and even our 90s.
- We also live in a time when husbands, wives and partners need, or want, to work out of the home. Adult children also often live far away from parents, have full time jobs and are raising their own families.
Living a longer life has unintended consequences
- One in particular is that while we are living longer, we are not necessarily living healthy, fully mobile and physically active lives. The opposite is often the case.
- In fact, the longer we live, the greater the likelihood that we will need daily and extended help with what are known as the “activities of daily living” (ADLs for short), or custodial care. They are: bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting and transferring in-and-out of beds and chairs, etc.
- Presently, family members (usually women) are burdened with providing the vast majority of this daily assistance to loved ones needing help with their ADLs—usually in the home and often for many years.
Impact of care giving on our loved ones
- People who are burdened with such daily responsibilities consistently report high levels of physical, emotional and mental stress. Depression among care givers is common, as is time away from work, physical exhaustion, and even unanticipated and unsustainable financial expense.
The Costs of Long Term Care Services
- The more logical and preferable approach to providing Long Term Care services is to hire outside professionals to help with the ADLs, either in the home, an assisted living facility or a nursing home. But this approach can be extremely costly.
- For example, depending upon one’s need, the cost for home care services can range from $10,000 a year to $50,000 a year in today’s dollars. Assisted living facilities range between $25,000 and $45,000 a year, and the average cost for just one year in a nursing home now exceeds $75,000.
- In 15 years, all of these costs will likely double at a minimum.
Who Will Pay?
- Because traditional insurances like your major medical plan, Medicare and Medicare supplements don’t pay for the ongoing custodial care. They only pay for skilled medical services and short-term skilled rehab services - not custodial LTC services.
- Or you may be forced to become a ward of the state and wind up on the state/federal welfare program called Medicaid. But Medicaid primarily pays for nursing home care—the place none of us wants or expects to be.
Are you likely to need Long Term Care?
- One in two women and one in three men are likely to require care giving assistance as they age.
- Ironically, the odds of using the fire insurance on your home are 1:1200 and the odds of a claim on your auto insurance are 1:240. We wouldn't think if going without such insurance coverage, but to fail to insure for the risk that we are far more likely to face: Long Term Care.
How to protect 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 extended Long Term Care needs.
- Today’s LTC comprehensive policies pay for a wide range of care giving services in most settings: at home, adult day care centers, hospice, assisted living facilities, Alzheimer’s centers and nursing homes.
Plan now before it is too late
- Qualifying for coverage and the premiums you pay are directly linked to your health and your age at the time you apply for coverage.
- If you are even considering the value of the protection, apply now. Don’t risk waiting.