Why You Should Be Thinking Of Long Term Care Now

October 15, 2013

Many think of long term care only for again parents or grandparents.  How many stop to think that maybe it’s time to consider it for them?

According to the Administration on Aging, average costs for long term care in the United States in 2010 were:
• $205 per day or $6,235 per month for a semi-private room in a nursing home
• $229 per day or $6,965 per month for a private room in a nursing home
• $3,293 per month for care in an assisted living facility (for a one-bedroom unit)
• $21 per hour for a home health aide
• $19 per hour for homemaker services
• $67 per day for services in an adult day health care center

The cost of long-term care depends on the type and duration of care you need, the provider you use, and where you live. Costs can be affected by certain factors, such as:
• Time of day. Home health and home care services, provided in two-to-four-hour blocks of time referred to as “visits,” are generally more expensive in the evening, on weekends, and on holidays
• Extra charges for services provided beyond the basic room, food and housekeeping charges at facilities, although some may have “all inclusive” fees.
• Variable rates in some community programs, such as adult day service, are provided at a per-day rate, but can be more based on extra events and activities

What Long-term Care Insurance Covers:
Most policies sold today are comprehensive. They typically allow you to use your daily benefit in a variety of settings, including:
• Your home
• Adult day service centers
• Hospice care
• Respite care
• Assisted living facilities (also called residential care facilities or alternate care facilities)
• Alzheimer’s special care facilities
• Nursing homes

In the home setting, comprehensive polices generally cover these services:
• Skilled nursing care
• Occupational, speech, physical, and rehabilitation therapy
• Help with personal care, such as bathing and dressing

Before You Buy:
You should consider a number of things before purchasing LTC insurance:
• Don’t buy more insurance than you think you may need. You may have enough income to pay a portion of your care costs and you may only need a small policy for the remainder. You also may have family members willing and able to supplement your care needs
• Don’t buy too little insurance. That will only delay the use of your own assets or income to pay for care. Think about how you feel about having care costs that are not covered. While you can usually decrease your coverage, it is more difficult to increase coverage, especially if your health has declined
• Look carefully at each policy. There is no “one-size-fits-all” policy
• If you choose a policy that only pays for room and board in a facility, plan for other expenses, such as supplies, medications, linens, and other items and services that your policy may not cover
• It costs less to buy coverage when you are younger. The average age of people buying long-term care insurance today is about 60. The average age of those purchasing policies offered at work is about 50
• Make sure that you can afford the long-term care insurance policy over time, as your monthly income may change
• Research and consider different options and talk with a professional before finalizing your decision
• Don’t feel pressured into making a decision

Check out any company prior to making a decision at bbb.org.  For more information please visit LongTermCare.gov