What You Need to Know About Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-Term Care Insurance

With the rapid growth of our older population, an increasing number of Americans are considering the need for future care for themselves or a family member. Today, they have plenty of excellent long-term care choices to select from, including personal care, traditional nursing care and memory care.

The more pressing question for older Americans today is “How will I pay for long-term care?’ Highlighting this concern was an article on Forbes.com that reported on a recent survey that showed that only 24 percent of the 6,500 participants said they were very confident that they’d be able to afford the care they are likely to need when they’re older.

If You’re Confused, You’re Not Alone

“Clearly, there is much concern and confusion among older Americans over the best ways to pay for their future care needs,” says Colleen Dwyer, Executive Director and Administrator of Bryn Mawr Terrace in Bryn Mawr, PA. “As a starting point, it is important to understand that Medicare and Medicaid are not viable insurance options for your long-term care needs.

“Medicare does not cover‘activities of daily living, which comprise the vast majority of long-term care services.’ Medicare only covers long-term care if you require skilled services or rehabilitative care and includes limits on the number of days it will pay for your care. Medicaid pays for the largest share of long-term care services, but in order to qualify, your income must be below a certain level and you must meet minimum state eligibility requirements.

“As a result, other payment options and insurance programs should be evaluated to fund your future care. One increasingly popular option today is long-term care insurance, which may be the best way to make sure your care services are paid for when needed.”

The Intrinsic Value of Long-Term Care Insurance

According to Senior Citizen’s Guide, the estimated median cost of care in a private room at a long-term care community is approaching six figures a year. These sizable costs have prompted many families to investigate long-term care insurance policies to protect their assets and ensure proper care should the need arise.

Even affluent families with considerable assets are in danger of seeing their entire savings wiped out. For many, long-term care policies provide peace of mind in knowing that their hard-earned savings will go towards their intended purposes rather than for care.

5 Important Long-Term Care Insurance Facts 

LongTermCare.Gov provides key facts about long-term care insurance that you can trust and incorporate into your own planning for future care.  Here are five things you should know:

  1. What long-term care insurance covers –Long-term care insurance policies reimburse policyholders a daily amount (up to a pre-selected limit) for services to assist them with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing or eating. You can select a range of care options and benefits that allow you to get the services you need, where you need them.

    Most policies sold today are comprehensive and typically allow you to use your daily benefit in a variety of settings, including:your home, adult day service centers, hospice care, respite care, personal care homes, nursing care communities and memory care communities.

  2. Receiving long-term care insurance benefits –In order to receive benefits from your long-term care insurance policy, you must meet two criteria: The Benefit Trigger and the Elimination Period.

    Benefit triggers are the criteria used in long-term care insurance company to determine if you are eligible for benefits. Most policies pay benefits when you need help with two or more of six activities of daily living or when you have a cognitive impairment. The elimination period is the amount of time that must pass after a benefit trigger occurs but before you start receiving payment for services.

  3. The best time to buy long-term care insurance – Long-term care insurance rates are based on age and should be bought when the holder is younger and relatively healthy. Those in poor health or already receiving long-term care may not qualify for this kind of insurance. Today, the average age of a long-term care insurance buyer is 56. Fifteen years ago, the average age of the buyer was 69. The younger you are when you apply for a policy, the more likely it is you will be approved. Experts in long-term care insurance recommend that you should start thinking about purchasing a plan in your early fifties.

  4. Factors that can disqualify you from purchasing long-term care insurance – You might not qualify for long-term care insurance if you: already need help with Activities of Daily Living; have AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease or a progressive neurological condition such as Parkinson’s Disease; have had a stroke within the past two years or have metastatic cancer.

    If you buy your long-term care insurance before you develop one of these health conditions, your policy will cover the care you need for that condition.

  5. Long-term care insurance costs – Costs of a long-term care policies can vary greatly and will depend on your age, the policy type and the coverages you select. Most people buy long-term care insurance directly from an insurance agent, a financial planner, or a broker. Since long-term care insurance policies are state-regulated, the best way to find out which insurance companies offer long-term care coverage in your state is to contact your state’s Department of Insurance.

    You can learn more about long-term care Insurance by visiting The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance,which is anational professional organization exclusively dedicated to promoting the importance of planning for long-term care needs. You can also visit AARP® Long-Term Care Options from New York Life to learn about theirsponsored long-term care insurance plans.

For more helpful senior living and senior care information, we invite you to read our monthly articles and tips on a variety of important senior health topics. We also welcome you to stop in for a tour of Bryn Mawr Terrace to see for yourself why we’ve been rated “Best in Senior Care.” 

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog onWhat You Need to Know About Long-Term Care Insurance,” we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us in our comments section.

A Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness 

There are times when the challenges associated with advanced age, a prolonged illness or a chronic condition make 24-hour care and support a necessity. At Bryn Mawr Terrace, we’re always here for you and your family. Our compassionate, professional team treats our residents as family and respects each of them as the individuals they are, all with their own unique life story. 

We understand that each one of our residents has unique needs and desires, so we deliver personalized care and services that are tailored to each individual. The amenities and activities offered within our community are designed to keep our residents happy, fulfilled and living well. From delicious dining to a variety of social programming, we offer a lifestyle that’s meant to be lived!

Located near Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr Terrace – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has provided exceptional care and services to seniors and their families since 1966. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue. 

Today, Bryn Mawr Terrace serves as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), offering a range of services – including short-term rehabilitation, traditional nursing care, independent living, personal care, memory care, restorative care and respite care – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing.

For more information on Bryn Mawr Terrace and our variety of needs-based lifestyle services, please call us at 610.525.8300 or contact us online. 

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Bryn Mawr Terrace and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.

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