You’ll probably live into your 80’s. Advances in medicine mean you’ll recover from illness and conditions that your grandparents didn’t survive. But you might need assistance while you recover, and that assistance costs money.
That’s why you need a long term health care policy. A recent New York Times article on the subject of Long Term Care addresses this.
- Assistance with the tasks of ordinary independent living—things like bathing, dressing, toileting, food preparation, eating, and moving around.
- Care and supervision due to a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease.
How long is “long term”? Some people need long term care indefinitely, from the onset of an illness or aging until they pass away. But often people need long term care for a shorter period of time, such as for a few months while recovering from an illness or accident.
Who should consider long term care insurance? Everyone! If you think this is just for the aged, click here. Unless you qualify for Medicaid you should explore long term care insurance. You only have to look at the tragic disability of Christopher Reeve to understand the need for planning at even a young age.
If you have a pre-existing condition… If you think an existing condition might keep you from getting coverage, let’s talk—I can get an informal opinion from the insurer before you apply.
What types of care are there? The most common types of care are Chronic Care, Skilled Care and Non-Skilled Care. Long term care insurance can cover much of the costs, including training of family members to provided non-skilled care. Long term care insurance does not pay for any skilled care already covered by health insurance or Medicare.
Where is long term care provided? Not just in nursing homes! People receive long term care at:
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Assisted-Care Living Facilities
- Adult Day Care Centers during the day, and at home at night
- Rely on your spouse or children.
- Pay for the care yourself, with your own assets and income.
- Pay for care until your assets are depleted, and then qualify for Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California).
- Buy a long term care insurance policy, so that the insurance company will pay most of your long term health care costs. This is the best option for most Americans.