The truth is, there are a lot of misconceptions about long-term care. To shed a little more light on this topic, we have compiled a list of our most common questions and comments about long-term care and address them below.
Why would I need long-term care? I will never need it.
Medicare and regular health insurance will cover long-term care.
Fact: Long-term care has to do with your activities of daily living, not your medical needs. Long-term care facilities and in-home assistants address basic everyday needs like helping you with clothing, cooking, bathing and transferring. Since Medicare is a federal program that provides hospital and medical insurance to those 65 and above, a Medicare health plan will not cover long-term care needs.
Medicare may pay up to 100 days of care in a facility. However, there are certain conditions that have to be met for this to occur, including:
You have had a recent prior hospital stay of at least three days
You are admitted to a Medicare-certified nursing facility within 30 days of your previous hospital stay
You need skilled care, such as skilled nursing services, physical therapy or other types of therapy
If you meet these conditions, Medicare will pay 100% of your costs for the first 20 days of your stay. For the remaining 80 days, you are responsible for paying your expenses up to $140 per day and Medicare will pay the remaining balance.
Long-term care is something I don’t need insurance for.
Fact: According Genworth’s Long-Term Care Costs Across the US, the annual cost of care for a private room in a nursing home in the state of Texas is $68,000. With an average length of 2.5 years for a nursing home stay, you could be spending up to $170,000 for your long-term care. Is this something you want to pay for later? Your nest egg should be for your retirement, not your long-term care. This is why you should consider purchasing long-term care insurance. An insurance plan will allow you to set aside budgeted premiums for your long-term care instead of dipping into your savings in retirement on a fixed income.
I can’t quantify the expense, so I won’t get it.
Fact: The amount you pay towards long-term care insurance is considerably less than the cost of long-term care. In fact, even if you pay 20 to 30 years on a long-term care policy, you could get your money back in as little as 12 months depending on your long-term care needs.
Long-term care insurance only pays for a nursing home and I don’t want that.
Fact: A nursing home is not the only way that long-term care insurance pays. Long-term care insurance will also cover an assisted living facility, in-home care and a continuous care retirement community. How much you can spend on your long-term care will determine which options are available for you. According to Genworth’s Cost of Care survey, the national median rates for home and community long-term care services are as follows:
Homemaker services - cooks, cleans and run errands - $19/hr
Home health aide - helps with personal care - $20/hr
Adult day care - daily personal assistance & therapeutic services - $65/day
Assisted living facility - live-in, intermediate level of care - $3,500/monthly.
Long-term care is inevitable for most. As a society, we are living longer and the need for long-term care is greater. In 2011, Americans spent $45.5 billion out-of-pocket on long-term care services. However, with long-term care insurance, you won’t have to spend your hard-earned money from long days at your practice to pay for it. For more information about long-term care coverage and how it could be helpful for you and your family, contact us today.