LONG TERM CARE / HOME HEALTH CARE
What is Long Term Care?
Long-term care is something you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks by yourself. For example, there may come a time when you need help getting dressed, eating, bathing or going to the bathroom. It also includes the care you would need if you had a severe cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s disease. You can receive this care in a variety of settings, including your own home, an assisted living facility or nursing home. This type of care isn’t provided in a hospital and isn’t intended to cure you. It is not acute care. It is chronic care that you might need for the rest of your life.
Why would I need LTC?
The need for long-term care arises from chronic illnesses, injury, or disability. In fact, approximately 60% of those who reach 65 will need some type of long-term care in their lives. However, this is not just a retiree’s issue.
It Can Happen at Any Age.
Many people do not realize the need for long-term care can strike at any time. Statistics show that 40% of people receiving long-term care are working age adults, between the ages of 18 and 64. Would you be prepared for long-term care if you suddenly required it?
What it is:
Long-term care is the type of care you would receive if you could no longer perform the “activities of daily living” by yourself such as eating bathing or dressing. Long-term care can be covered completely or in part by long term care insurance. Most plans let you choose the amount of coverage you want, as well as how and where you want to use your benefits. A comprehensive plan includes benefits for all levels of care, custodial to skilled.
What it isn’t:
Long-term care isn’t the type of care you receive in the hospital or the doctor’s office. It isn’t the medical care you need to get well from a sickness and injury. It isn’t short-term rehabilitation to get well from an accident or recuperation from surgery.
What Does Long Term Care Cost?
Nursing home care is very expensive. Today the cost of a semi – private room in a nursing home is $52,000 annually. Depending on where you live and what type of facility you’d prefer, costs can be significantly higher. Home health care is expensive too. The national average cost of home health care is well over $20,000 a year (that’s $18 an hour, five hours per day, five days a week for a home health aide). This figure is supposed to climb to $68,0000 by 2030. Are these costs that you could afford tomorrow?
What if you need long term care in the future? Nursing home costs have been going up 3-5% a year. If that continues for another 30 years, the costs of nursing home care in 2032 is expected to be $190,000 a year. As you plan for the future, you should consider whether this is an expense you will be able to afford. If you, your spouse or a family member were to need long-term care, the cost could deplete more than just your hard earned assets. Without long term care insurance, the financial burden of caring for you could fall on your family.
If you think that long-term care services are covered by your health care plan, it is usually not the case. Health insurance is designed to cover medical care for illnesses or injuries, such as cancer, a broken arm, or a stroke. For example, it will pay the hospital bills you incur for a stroke. It will not pay for long term assistance with activities of daily living, such as dressing or using the bathroom. With that being stated, don’t count on Medicare or your health care plan to cover your long-term care needs.
Myths and Facts:
There are many myths and facts about long term care. It’s a subject no one really wants to examine, because people are afraid of it. However, fear is most effectively cured with information. Read on…
“I’m Too Young” Many of us think that only senior citizens need to worry about long- term care, so we put off preparing for the possibility. The fact is that untimely accidents or illnesses can strike at any age. Remember, while 60% of people who will need long term care are 65 and older, 40% are working age adults. People of any age can develop serious conditions that require assistance with routine daily activities for an extended period of time and such help could be extremely costly. Long-term care insurance can help cover this care and protect your assets.
“My Family Will Take Care of Me” This might have been a reasonable assumption years ago, when children tented to settle near their parents and women stayed at home. In today’s society, children may live across the country or around the globe. And many women are active in the work force, with less time to fulfill their traditional caregiver role.
“Medicare and Medicaid Will Cover My Bills” Medicare is generally available to those who are disabled and for people over the age of 65 and only pays limited amounts for skilled nursing care following a hospital stay. It does not cover much of the care, which assists people with the activities of daily living over a long period of time. Medicare will cover the first 100 days of care in a nursing home per benefit period if: 1) you are receiving skilled care, and 2) you have a qualifying hospital stay of at least 3 days and enter the nursing home within 30 days of the hospital discharge. There are also some deductibles and co pays that means you have to pay part of the cost. Medicare also covers limited home visits for skilled care and incidental homemaker services. Medicare does not cover purely custodial care, and that’s the type required by most people in nursing homes.
Medicaid is the government program to help those in financial need. It is a state based program supplemented by federal funds that act as a safety net to provide health services to the poor and impoverished. Medicaid covers long term care services and might cover you if you meet the state’s poverty criteria and receive care that meets the state’s guidelines. It won’t kick in until you’ve spent all of your assets and your spouse’s assets have been consumed. People who have higher assets may end up “spending down” their savings in order to be eligible and even then, it means you must receive care from a limited amount of state approved facilities that are willing to accept Medicaid’s payments.
“I Can Save Enough On My Own” The average nursing home stay is 2.6 years and the national annual cost of a semi- private room is $52,000. By the year 2030, It’s estimated that the cost will be $190,000. In 2000, the average cost for an assisted living facility was $25,300. By the year 2030, the average cost is projected to be $109,300. Cost also varies based on the type of assistance you need.
The national annual cost of home care is well over $20,000 (that’s 18 hours a day, five hours a day, five days a week)—and it’s expected to climb to $68,000 by 2030.
Will you have saved up enough money to pay for these types of expenses? And if you have that much money, will you want to spend it all on long term care services?
“Long Term Care Insurance Is Too Expensive” Long-term care insurance premiums are lower the younger you are when you buy. So, it makes sense to purchase coverage when you are younger and when premiums are more affordable.
We realize the different variables that apply to long- term care can be confusing. We represent many carriers in Illinois so it’s nearly impossible to provide you with specific price information. Allow our specialist to review your options so you can receive information that pertains to your specific needs.
Some of the Companies We Represent:
- United American
- Mutual of Omaha
- Penn Treaty Network America