Long Term Care Insurance: Costs and Benefits
When an elderly parent needs long-term care, one of the primary considerations is how much it will all cost. The price tag on long-term care can seem overwhelming, but help is available. More and more people are considering long-term care insurance as a means of helping their loved ones afford the care they need.
What is Long-Term Care Insurance?
Long-term care insurance helps offset the costs of healthcare for those who can no longer care for themselves. Mom may need regular home health care: someone to come in and help her with daily hygiene, dressing, and home tasks. Or perhaps Dad has suffered a debilitating stroke and would benefit from comprehensive care in a nursing home. The cost of long-term care can wreak havoc on a person’s finances, no matter how well-prepared they are. Most people just do not have enough set aside to cover the costs of long-term care. Because long-term care coverage is not typically covered under Medicare, many people struggle to afford the payments. Medicaid may kick in and provide some coverage, but only when a person’s assets have been drained quite low. This is where long-term care insurance comes in.
The Benefits of Long-Term Care Insurance
- Retention of assets – Without the need to drain away their savings to pay for long-term care, your loved one will be able to conserve more of their assets. This will allow them to leave their estate intact, whether for their loved ones or to make legacy donations to charities.
- More independence – Most parents prefer to cover the costs of their own care, rather than be a financial burden on their children. Long-term care insurance makes it easier to do that. It also opens the door to a better living situation. Medicaid will cover the costs of long-term care in a nursing home, but long-term care policies typically cover the costs of assisted living facilities. Your loved one will have more freedom to choose the living situation which best meets their needs.
- Better home care – For those loved ones not ready to make the move to assisted living, long- term care insurance can help at home. It can provide coverage for home health aides and skilled nursing services.
- Less debt – Many people need to take out loans to cover the rising costs of long-term care. A long-term care insurance policy can help avoid this common scenario.
The Costs of Long-Term Care Insurance
It is best to buy long-term care insurance before healthcare issues arise, since some companies may not cover preexisting conditions. Another reason not to wait is that premiums tend to be lower when purchased at a younger age. But discerning the true cost of long-term care insurance and deciding on a policy can be tricky. Costs vary widely and plans are difficult to compare. You and your senior loved one should meet with a trusted financial advisor who can help you examine the available options and choose the plan that is right for you.
Total Senior works with many resources throughout the community that can help provide detailed information about policies or even quotes. Feel free to reach out to our local advisors to learn about professionals in your community that specialize in Long Term Care Insurance.