Most people who plan for their golden years are focused on funding the fun of traveling, hobbies, and family time they hope will fill their retirement. Fewer people realize the financial impact those later years can have. That’s why it’s so important to educate yourself about long-term care and prepare ahead.
Did you know….
- only 30% of people plan for the future.
- Standard Health Insurance does not pay for Long-Term Care
- Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing facilities are also NOT covered by insurance.
What Does Long-Term Care Mean?
Long-Term Care refers to the assistance and support an individual will need as they age. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a person turning 65 has a nearly 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care service. The services can include staying in a skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility, at home aide to help with basic daily living activities like dressing, eating, bathing, medication management, and even medical care.
Pre-Planning is crucial for several reasons:
- Long-Term care is expensive and without proper planning, these costs can quickly deplete your savings or assets.
- A good plan might have limited availability, so planning ahead ensures you have more choices and can get the care you prefer.
- Quality of care
- Planning ahead allows you to research and select high-quality care options that suit your needs and preferences, ensuring you receive the best possible care.
- Reduce Burden on Family
- Planning ahead can relieve your loved ones from the stress and financial burden of making hasty decisions about your care if you become unable to make those decisions yourself.
- Peace of Mind
- Knowing that you have a well-thought-out plan in place gives you and your family peace of mind, knowing that you will be taken care of in the best possible way.
This is all well and good information. But what happens when:
- planning has not been done or
- you or a loved one are facing an immediate crisis or
- Facing a potentially extended period of need
What options does someone have?
If you or a loved one are facing a potential need but don’t have the resources of a “bottomless” bank account, there is hope!
Here are some options to consider.
- This is a federal government funding program run by each state, which means eligibility requirements vary according to your state.
- Although Medicare does not pay for long-term nursing care it does cover some medical supplies (walkers, wheelchairs, oxygen, hospital beds), home health services (PT, OT), and hospice care.
- Health savings Accounts
- This allows people with high-deductible insurance plans to save pre-tax dollars for future medical expenses. You are allowed to spend HAS funds for yourself, a spouse, or a legal dependent.
- Veteran’s Long-Term Care Benefits
- Home and community-based services are available to all veterans enrolled in VA healthcare. If you are eligible for or receiving a VA Pension benefit, there are two additional programs that can defray the cost of long-term care by increasing your monthly pension amount. Aid and Attendance (A&A) and Housebound for those who are substantially confined to their home because of a permanent disability.
- Reverse Mortgage
- The equity built up in your home is the largest asset and can be utilized by seniors that intend or choose to age home. Like anything, a reverse mortgage has it’s pros and cons so be sure to do your homework before jumping into a reverse mortgage. For more info check out https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/hecm/hecmhome
- Home Equity loan
- Also known as a home equity line of credit. This is another way to leverage your home’s equity but with a very different structure. Again, a home equity loan has its pros and cons so be sure to do your homework before jumping into a home equity loan. Check with your bank for more information.
- Long-Term Care Insurance or Indemnity Plans
- This is similar to traditional health insurance, but rather than covering the cost of an acute condition, long-term care insurance helps offset or cover the cost of routine care you’ll need on a daily basis over an extended period of time. Be aware that some long-term plans have an “elimination” period which is similar to a deductible. And most policies pay up to a daily limit of care until you reach the maximum lifetime benefit. Lastly, long-term plans do not have a death benefit.
- Indemnity plans as called fee-for-service. The insurance pays a pre-determined percentage of the reasonable and customary charges for a given service. In most cases, people use this as a supplement to existing insurance they have to pay for the gap of coverage. Be aware that indemnity plans can have “pre-existing” clauses.
In summary, planning ahead is important to not only manage costs but to ensure quality care. Plus it provide peace of mind that the family will not have to bear any financial burdens on your behalf.
#PlanForTommorrow #CarefortheFuture #LongTermCarematters #Advocate