Before starting my business caring for seniors, I knew very little about long-term care insurance. I believed that as long as you were “saving for a rainy day” all would be well. I soon found reality is very different! None of us know what the future holds. Nothing is more disturbing than to see a senior who needs help but is unable to afford it. Many I’ve talked to believe Medicare will take care of the cost. Medicare offers coverage for a very limited time and offers no coverage for non-medical, in-home care. Long-term care insurance is an insurance policy which pays a set amount for the cost of care when an individual needs help with activities of daily living due to declining health or cognitive impairment. The daily amount usually ranges from $100 to $200 per day for a designated time frame, often times 3 years, depending on the policy. This differs from medical insurance because, while medical insurance will help cover the cost of immediate medical expenses such as doctors bills, it will not cover the cost of care required for the daily help a person will need if they are living with chronic illness or disabilities. With the right policy, long-term care insurance will cover the costs of home care, assisted living, nursing homes, adult day care and respite care. The relief our clients and their families feel in knowing they’re able to receive the care they need without financial worries is priceless. For many, the amount of the policy is secondary to the peace of mind it offers for those fearful of becoming a burden to their family or depleting their retirement funds.
Policy costs vary depending on the age of the person when they purchase a long-term care policy and the length and amount of coverage. According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a 60-year-old healthy couple can expect to pay an average of $3,335 a year for a plan that pays out $150 per day for three years. Once a policy is purchased, it is usually guaranteed renewable for life and cannot be cancelled by the insurance company for health reasons. Once a policy is activated, there are no monthly payments that have to be made.
By Angela DiNicola