Americans are now living longer, healthier lives due to advances in medicine and preventive care. While that is wonderful news, it also means that there is an increased risk of living with a chronic health condition that may require extended care. Long-term care (LTC) insurance is a good way to offset the high costs of extended care.
What is LTC insurance and who needs it?
LTC refers to a wide array of medical care, personal assistance and social support services for individuals who are physically and mentally unable to care for themselves for a long period of time. Extended care may be needed after an accident, illness or due to advanced age.
What is the cost of LTC?
According to the 2014 Genworth Cost of Care survey, the average nursing home costs $240 per day for a private room, totaling nearly $90,000 per year. A home health aide costs well over $20 per hour. Rates vary based on region, accommodations, services provided, quality of care and amenities; however, to be sure, LTC is extremely costly in all circumstances.
How does LTC insurance differ from disability insurance?
Unlike medical insurance or disability insurance, which cover a limited amount of recuperative time, a LTC policy will cover two years or more of care. In addition, disability insurance replaces only your salary at the time of an injury, not throughout the duration of your care. As a result, you will be responsible for paying for any ongoing LTC.
Medicare is also not a viable option to recoup the costs of LTC. This program only reimburses for a maximum of 100 days, with the average repayment lasting only 28 days.
- An LTC insurance policy is designed to cover expenses associated with the following:
- Nursing homes
- Assisted living facilities
- Adult day care centers
- Home health care
- Personal care
Most policies pay a daily maximum benefit and a lifetime maximum benefit, which are chosen at the time that the policy is purchased.
When should you purchase a policy?
The average age at which an individual will purchase LTC insurance is 62, yet purchasing a policy at a younger age will yield more affordable premiums. Plus, purchasing a policy at age 50 will give you peace of mind in knowing that you are protected. Beyond that, because of lower premiums, your total costs often even out over the course of the policy compared to a policy taken out over age 65.
Contact Marshfield Insurance Agency today to learn more about all of our health care-related coverage options.