Category Archives: Reasons to Buy Long Term Care Insurance

Who Pays for Long Term Care?

As people age, or if sudden illnesses strike, individuals may need assistance with everyday activities such as eating, bathing, and dressing. If they don’t have a family member able to offer around-the-clock care, who pays for long term care services?

Many don’t realize the true cost of Long Term Care until they or someone they know experience it themselves. Continue reading to learn more about who pays for long term care.

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How to Plan for Long Term Health Care Costs

Part of any solid financial or retirement plan for the future should include a plan for long term health care costs. How will you pay for extended care if you’re seriously ill or injured? Who will care for you if you can no longer care for yourself? Or, better yet, who will pay for your care? Will it come from your own savings, assets, or income?

We’re glad you’re thinking about these important questions now. As you develop a plan for long term health care costs, consider the following tips.

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Should I Buy Long Term Care Insurance?

How do you know if long term care insurance is right for you? Does everyone need to buy long term care insurance (LTCI)?

You wouldn’t drive a car without car insurance, and you wouldn’t invest in a home without protecting it with homeowner’s insurance. But what about the risk of long term care expenses?

If you’re considering long term care insurance, but you’re not sure if it’s right for you, consider these important questions.

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Retiring Overseas – Plan for Long Term Care

The world is at your fingertips. As you consider retirement, you may have the luxury of jet-setting to far off locations and plan on retiring overseas.

If you’re planning for retirement years filled with travel and adventure overseas, don’t forget to think about your long term care needs in the future.

While some may retire overseas to be closer to family, others may be further away from family or friends who could provide care in an emergency.

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Long Term Care Costs – What You Need to Know

Long term care costs can vary based on your location, where you receive care, and the level of care you need. Learn more about what you need to know about long term care costs below.

Cost of Care Varies by State

The cost of care varies based on your state of residence or the state you plan to receive care. For example, the annual cost for home care in Alaska is $60,000 (according to 2015 statistics). In comparison, a year of home care in Texas costs $45,000.

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How to Pay for Assisted Living or Home Health Care?

A question many people wonder when planning for retirement or helping aging family and friends is, “How do you pay for assisted living or home health care?”

This may be especially true for individuals or families on a limited income, or those who want to protect their hard-earned assets from the high expense of long term care services.

Common Misconceptions

Don’t be fooled. The following are a couple common misconceptions when paying for care:

  1. Local state governments may offer financial assistance for individuals who are disabled or fall below the poverty line, but this coverage may not be available to everyone. Medicaid is reserved for people who have spent down1 their savings to $2,000 and meet other individual state requirements.
  2. Your health insurance will not pay for extended assisted living or home health care. It may cover some rehabilitative services, but long-term care is typically not covered by health insurance.

Outside of government assistance for those who qualify, most individuals and families have the following options to pay for long term care services such as assisted living or home health care.

Self-Funding

Home care or assisted living services may be funded by individual income from their retirement, savings, social security, etc.

The cost of care ranges by state and can be a significant annual expense depending on your location and the level of care needed.

Those who choose to self-fund should be aware of the current cost of care and account for future costs due to inflation. The cost of home care rises 1% per year on average while nursing home care averages a rise of 4% per year.  As you can imagine, the cost of care 20-30 years from now will be drastically different than the cost of care now.

Depend on Family and Friends

You may choose to rely on family or friends to deliver care. It’s important to make sure your loved ones know of this decision and can offer the level of care you need.

In most households, this may require someone to quit their job to deliver full-time care in the home.

Caregivers who assist with the financial side of care of a loved one estimate that they pay, on average, about $10,000 per year in out-of-pocket expenses.  Most caregivers do not anticipate or plan for this expenditure.  Based on a recent study by Genworth Financial, 77% of caregivers indicated that in order to provide care for a loved one, they had to miss work2.

If you plan to save money by having your family help, make sure you count the financial, emotional, and physical costs involved in personal caregiving.

Protect Your Risk with Long Term Care Insurance

Have you experienced caring for an aging parent or loved one? If so, you understand the emotional and physical toll of providing care for someone you love.

Long term care insurance offers families peace of mind so they can focus their energy on spending time with and enjoying their loved ones.

When you protect your risk with long term care insurance, this coverage can pay for assisted living or home health care expenses.

Coverage typically provides access to additional helpful resources including a personal long term care planner. These planners assist you and your family with finding the right care and help ensure you’re taking advantage of all the benefits your policy offers.

Curious if long term care insurance is right for you? Learn more by browsing our resources and shop the market for an instant quote.

LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can help them.

1Medicaid spend down varies by state. 2Genworth Financial, The Expanding Circle of Care: Beyond Dollars 2015.

Long Term Care Insurance and the Baby Boomer Generation

Long term care insurance and the baby boomer generation is a hot topic today. From 2011 to 2029, baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) will turn 65. During this time period, 10,000 people will turn 65 every day.1

With so many baby boomers in the workforce reaching retirement, we could face a shortage of nurses and support staff. Not to mention, a strain on government assistance programs such as Medicaid.

Learn more about the challenges baby boomers are facing and the importance of long term care planning.

Government Programs May Not Handle the Influx

Medicaid is a government assistance program for low-income, elderly or disabled individuals. Eligibility may vary by state, but in most cases, participants are required to spend down to $2,000 in assets before being eligible.

With 76 million baby boomers reaching retirement age within the next decade, can state Medicaid budgets keep up?

Knowing the wave of baby boomers is looming on the horizon, the government attempted to solve the issue with a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) called the CLASS Act, a national voluntary long term care insurance program. Unfortunately, this was repealed in 2013 when they couldn’t develop an affordable product.

Relying on the government for your care may not be the best option. It’s important to take control of your future by planning now.

Baby Boomers Will Live Longer and Need More Care

Due to medical advances, baby boomers are expected to live longer, resulting in higher care needs for longer periods of time. Depending on your state, the current annual cost of care for home care or facility care ranges from $50,000 to over $100,000.

These costs will only increase in the future due to inflation.

The Cost of Care Is Increasing Each Year with Inflation

If you think the cost of care is high now, just think what it will be 20-30 years from now when you need it!

Inflation increases the cost of care 1-4% each year. This is why it’s important for baby boomers to make a long term care plan now.

By planning ahead, you’ll know who will care for you and where the money is coming from to pay for your care.

Long Term Care Insurance and the Baby Boomer Generation – Planning Is More Important Than Ever

Providing care for a loved one can be physically, emotionally, and mentally draining for family members. If you’re a baby boomer, prepare for your future now with a long term care plan to protect your family.

Peace of mind comes from knowing you’ll be taken care of when you need it most and have the financial means to do so.

Secure a long term care plan for your future now by speaking with an LTC Specialist today. Learn more about your options and get an instant quote for long term care insurance here.

LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can help them.

1 Visualizing Health Policy, Kaiser Family Foundation. August 28, 2013. Volume 310, Number 8.