A long-term health event can happen to anyone, and the chances of an event occurring only increase as we age. In fact, it’s estimated 70% of people over age 65 will need some form of long-term care in their lifetime. The problem is, home care or care in a facility is expensive and can deplete a family’s savings quickly.
That’s where long-term care insurance comes in. Individuals and families can transfer their risk to an insurance company to pay for or help cover the cost of long-term care services.
However, not everyone in their retirement planning ages can afford the insurance coverage they need. In some cases, children may step in to pay for long-term care coverage for mom or dad or both.
So, should adult siblings pool their resources to buy coverage for a parent? The answer: well, it depends.
Ask yourself the following questions to consider what’s best for your situation:
- Do you have a good relationship with your siblings?
- Can you or your siblings physically care for your parents around the clock if they need it?
- Do your parents or family have access to upwards of $50,000* a year right now to pay for care in the home or a facility (on top of their other bills)?
- Can they afford the premiums for long term care insurance themselves?
- How would it impact the family if your parents had to spend down their money to $2,000 to be eligible for state Medicaid programs?
- If your parents go on Medicaid, do you have family property which could be in danger of being taken by the state to repay long-term care services paid by Medicaid?
- Can you and/or your siblings afford to pay for your parent’s long-term care insurance and are willing to help fund it?
A long-term care event in the family can be devastating for all members involved. A sudden or even an expected illness can bring financial difficulties as well as emotional and physical challenges for family members assuming a personal caregiver role. Long-term care insurance helps pay for care, but it also offers other helpful services for the family as they deal with difficult decisions and the initial placement of a loved one.
If you and your siblings are financially able to cover the cost of coverage for one or both of your parents, it can offer the whole family peace of mind knowing your mom, dad, or both will be financially and physically taken care of as they age.
Talk to your parents and siblings today about the importance of long-term care planning and getting covered by insurance. You’ll be glad you did.
*2016 cost of care. Rates will increase over time with inflation. The five-year average inflation increase is 1% for home care and 4% for facility care.