LTC Insurance Provides Security

Like any insurance product, the cost for monthly premiums is normally going to be less when you initiate coverage at an early age. The younger you are, the lower the premiums. Costs for long term care insurance are less on a monthly basis if you purchase during your 40’s than your 50’s. Certainly, this is not an easy decision. Many people are paying mortgages or college loans in mid-life. But understand, this may be the best planning option and strategy to cover the medical and non-medical costs of aging.

To access your insurance coverage, one must demonstrate the need for assistance. This may require a medical examination and written proof – either from your primary care physician or another qualified medical professional. (You should consult with your insurance provider as to specific policy requirements.) When “activities of daily living” are compromised, many elders need assistance in their daily functions and living existence. Specifically, functions such as bathing oneself, properly preparing food to eat, transporting oneself from bed to chair to couch, etc. Often the “proof” of your qualifications to receive benefits under long term health insurance includes not being able to function in your basic activities of daily living.

My parents have long term care insurance. They are ages 85 and 81, respectively. At this moment, they have not needed to access their policy for living assistance or financial coverage. However, they are housebound and do not drive. Homecare services enable them to have some assistance with daily needs and household chores, such as: laundry, meal preparation, grocery shopping, medication reminders, and bathing. Given that they remain comfortable living at home, we are investigating the coverage options to help pay for homecare services. But remember…even if you are fully paid on any/all long term care premiums, there must be a documented and demonstrated need for assistance.

Planning for your future, as it relates to aging, necessitates taking responsibility and ownership of your options. Medicare is not a long term option. Medicare will cover up to 100 days in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, but then the coverage stops. What to do then? If the average cost of care in a nursing home is $10,000. per month, you may require $240,000. for a two year period. Non-medical homecare services may be less (Home Care Partners provides 24/7 live-in staff for approximately $6,800./month). Nonetheless, a significant amount of money. One of the methods utilized to minimize your financial risk is through Long Term Care Insurance. Read the fine print. Make certain your policy covers what you expect. Ask questions. Does policy cover in-home assistance? Are costs associated with living in an assisted living facility addressed in your policy? Are special needs (example, Parkinson’s) covered? Are there limitations to your insurance coverage? What areas are NOT covered by the policy??