Do you think you or your loved one may need long-term care – soon or someday?
Long-term care covers a wide range of services that meet your personal care needs, including both medical and non-medical support. While it’s common for people to need this type of care as they get older, some need this kind of care much earlier in life because of an injury, chronic illness or disability.
But finding that support isn’t always easy. It can be expensive, not to mention confusing to navigate.
Here, we break down for you how you can find long-term care coverage. Let us know if you have any questions; your Health Risk Consultant (who is available to all Trig members) can always help.
The truth is that long-term care is expensive. According to 2010 statistics from Longtermcare.gov, it costs $205 per day or $6,235 per month for a semi-private room in a nursing home; $3,293 for care in an assisted living facility; and $21 an hour for a home health aide.
However, there are several options for getting coverage to help you out:
Medicare only covers medically necessary care and focuses on acute care (such as doctor visits, drugs and hospital stays). Medicare coverage also focuses on short-term services for conditions that are expected to improve (such as physical therapy to help regain function after a fall).
Here’s who’s eligible: People 65 years and older, people under 65 with certain disabilities, and people of all ages with end-stage renal disease.
For more information on Medicare coverage, click here.
Medicaid is key for people who make a low income because it pays for some or all of their healthcare bills.
Coverage varies from state-to-state, and all participants must meet income and asset requirements. Each state administers Medicaid differently, but typically assets have a $2,000 limit per person.
If a person meets Medicaid requirements, it covers nursing home services for all eligible people age 21 and older. It also covers home and community-based services for people who would need to be in a nursing home if they did not receive home care services. In most states, it will cover services that allow you to stay in your home.
If your insurance company covers long-term care situations, typically it’s for skilled, short-term, medically necessary care. In general, health insurance covers only very limited and specific types of long-term care and disability policies don’t cover any at all.
Most forms of insurance follow the same general rules as Medicare. Check with your insurance company to see what they offer.
Do you need to shop for long-term care insurance? One of the best times to buy long-term care insurance can be in your mid-50’s. If you need insurance now or will soon, here’s a great resource to help you find the best coverage.
You can also search this state-by-state resource to see what insurance companies offer long-term care coverage: www.usa.gov/directory/stateconsumer/index.shtml
Also, many private and public employers, including the federal government and a growing number of state governments, offer group long-term care programs as a voluntary benefit. Typically employers don’t contribute to the premium cost, but they can help negotiate a better rate.
If you’re employed, it might be easier to qualify for long-term care insurance through them rather than buying a policy on your own.
If you are already in poor health or are receiving long-term care, you may not qualify for long-term care insurance. You may be able to buy limited coverage or coverage at a higher “non-standard” rate.
Other Funding Options
If you have enough income and savings, you will need to pay for long-term care services on your own, from your incomes, savings and possibly the equity in your home. To pay privately, check out these options: http://longtermcare.gov/costs-how-to-pay/paying-privately/
If you don’t qualify for long-term care insurance, you may choose to enter into an annuity contract with an insurance company to help pay for long-term care services. In exchange for a single payment (or a series of payments), the insurance company will send you an annuity, which is a series of regular payments over a specified and period of time.
There’s also this option for state-based programs: http://longtermcare.gov/medicare-medicaid-more/state-based-programs/
We hope this helps you in your journey to fund long-term care. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or 855-633-TRIG (8744). You can also contact your Health Risk Consultant.