02 Nov Coverage in Action | Long-term Care Insurance
Most health insurance plans provide for in-hospital care, doctor visits, and preventive health care needs. But they may not cover many other health-related needs of older adults, such as long-term care, which is also not covered by Medicare. So, who needs long-term care insurance?
Long-term care insurance is not just for those in assisted living centers or nursing homes. It is for people who have a physical illness, disability, or cognitive impairment that affects their ability to do basic activities of daily living (ADLs). Those expenses can be taxing and, sometimes, impossible for someone or their family. Long-term care is sometimes necessary for the function and well-being of many people. With the price of care being so high, long-term care insurance can ease the heavy financial burden.
When is Long-term Care Beneficial?
Several days after getting foot surgery, Jessica Mulgrew of Arlington, Texas, discovered two holes in the repaired foot. She immediately went back to the doctor, who discovered two separate staph infections. Jessica nearly lost her foot and could have died from the infection.
The complications to her foot meant that she needed around-the-clock care. Fortunately for her, she was insured through a long-term care insurance policy.
Jessica’s mobility was severely limited after her foot complications. Her policy helped her pay for the daily help she received to perform ADLs, such as cooking, cleaning, and dressing. Instead of relying on family or savings to pay for the expensive care, long-term care insurance is a viable alternative for those with poor family health histories and those living alone.
How is Long-Term Care Insurance different from Disability Insurance or Medicare?
Unlike a medical policy that will cover a limited number of days of recuperative time, a long-term policy will cover two years or more. Disability Insurance limits your time of coverage while receiving care. Long-term needs can often surpass that limited time frame. Also, due to the injury and need for continued care, the Disability Insurance policy holder will have to pay out of pocket for the expenses of care. This is because Disability Insurance only replaces the salary that would be made without the policyholder’s injury, not the coverage of care needed.
Similarly, Medicare shouldn’t be considered a form of coverage for long-term care needs. . This program reimburses the insured for a maximum of 100 days. Furthermore, the average repayment of expenses with Medicare is often much lower at 28 days.
Medicare and Disability Insurance do not offer the rounded financial protection for long-term care needs.
When Should I be Considering Long-term Care?
The best answer is… sooner rather than later! Cost increases with age. So, when opening a long-term care policy, the earlier the better. According to the Health Insurance Association of America, the average age at which people purchase long-term care insurance is 62. However, purchasing a policy at a younger age will definitely benefit you! Premiums are typically more affordable if purchased at a younger age.
Did you know that there are benefits to purchasing this type of policy? Premiums paid for a long-term care policy may be eligible for an income tax deduction, depending on the age of the insured.
Purchasing a policy younger creates more benefits for you financially and relieves the stress of potentially putting a heavy financial burden on family if you were to need long-term care. If you want to learn more about long-term care insurance you can read this blog. Still not convinced? Check out this story from about one of our customers to hear why they chose to purchase long-term care for themselves after paying for the long-term care of their elderly parents.
To find out if long-term care insurance is a good idea for you, contact Byars|Wright Insurance today.