Long Term Care–Do you know all you need to know?


Long Term Care.   When those three words are spoken, what comes to mind?  Many make the common association with a nursing home.  Others mistakenly think that they are already covered for related long term care matters through their health insurance or disability income policies, or they think that the Government Medicare program will pay for this issue.

The Government has been clear that the only one that pays for Long Term Care is you.  The real question is “when” this issue presents itself to you–how much of your money will you want to use and how?  Notice we say “when” this issue occurs.  This is because 3 out of every 4 individuals over the age 65 will require some level of long term care in their lifetime.  The average cost of care ranges based on your living area but $300 a day is common.    As of now, the Government will generally step in and pay for long term care as part of the Medicaid program but only after you have spent down your assets on your care and you meet certain state specific income, asset and physical metrics established by the state you have residence in.  Said differently, you must be below poverty level standards before the government will assist you under the Medicaid program, and the venue where they will likely assist you under this program is a nursing home.  You are limited with choices of care facilities as some facilities are changing thier business model to only accept private pay members leaving the facilities who do still accept Medcaid as a form of payment to be overcrowded.

Health Insurance–whether it is your private health insurance or Medicare–is designed to help you get better and is utilized when there is an expectation of recovery, and they employ skilled care in order to do so.  Skilled care is delivered by highly trained professionals like Medical Doctors, Nurses and Physical Therapists and examples can include tube feeding and I.V.’s in an effort to help you get better.  Long Term Care uses what is commonly known as non-skilled care to assist you and help you get through the rigors of each day.  Non-skilled care is delivered by people that have less training than the folks delivering skilled care, and will routinely help you with the ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) Eating, Bathing, Dressing, Toileting, Transferring, Continence.

Disability income policies generally protect your income for a time specific period.  Generally, this coverage ends when you are 65.

Long Term Care Insurance or some sort of Long Term Care hybrid policy could be the logical next step in your financial planning process.  This step will help you:

  • Protect your Financial Plan
  • Protect your portfolio, whether it is a retirement or non retirement account so that it can execute for the manner in which it’s intended.
  • Protect you income
  • Protect your family from becoming your Long Term Care Plan

Long Term Care is really a life event that happens to a person’s family and, if not protected properly with long term care planning–can also have adverse consequences to their financial plan, income and portfolio.  There is a variety of services and care available to someone that experiences Long Term Care.  This Long Term Care event can include not only nursing home but also assisted care living facilities, home health, adult day care and community based supporting services such as meals on wheels, senior centers and transportation services.  In short, a Long Term Care policy will provide an income stream to pay for care in the venue of your choosing along with the continuum of care, services and housing that you may require or need as a result of being on claim.

To talk about whether Long Term Care Planning is an appropriate next step for you, email andrea@gossassociates.com or contact us directly at 855-712-7683




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