Think about it Early
Long-Term Care Insurance
It’s not fun or even pleasant to think about, however, at some point, you’ll likely need help taking care of yourself. It’s easy to think this is a problem to be addressed later in life, but anyone could suddenly find themselves in need of extended care due to an accident or medical event.
You can’t wait until you need it to buy a long-term care policy. This is one of those things you should plan for.
Long-term care (LTC) isn’t just a single thing. It covers a whole range of services to meet your needs if you’re disabled, chronically ill, or an accident leaves you in need of months of recovery and you’re unable to care for yourself. Services like helping you with day-to-day tasks are considered long-term care and aren’t covered by regular health insurance.
Traditionally, long-term care simply meant help with normal daily tasks like dressing, eating, and bathroom use. However, LTC increasingly involves some specialized medical care as well.
LTC may be provided at your home, in assisted living facilities, or nursing homes. Though it’s typically associated with senior citizens, it could be needed at any age.
When to think about it
Just like retirement planning, purchasing a long-term care policy can be a sound financial plan for your future.
Most people purchase long-term care policies beginning in their 50s, but it’s never too early to begin planning ahead.
As you get older, LTC insurance will become increasingly difficult to purchase. That’s because as you age and your health risks increase, insurance companies will be more reluctant to cover you.
If you think you might want LTC coverage, the sooner in life you look into it, the better.
Medicare won’t cover long-term care expenses.
Medicaid requires you to spend down your assets and savings first. It also limits your options and probably won’t cover all expenses.
Will Medicare or my health insurance cover it?
Your private health insurance isn’t going to cover long-term care.
Medicare will only cover short-term care needs. It can’t cover your costs for things like day-to-day supervision and help with daily tasks known as custodial care that long-term care provides.
Medicaid can provide some assistance if you have a very low income, but you’ll have to spend a large portion of your own funds first.
Reliance on Medicaid also limits your care options to facilities or services that accept government payment.
Who should get long-term care insurance?
Anyone who wants the peace-of-mind that paying for long-term care expenses if they arise won’t solely come out of their pocket or savings. The cost of long-term care services can deplete assets quickly.
In addition to planning for later life, LTC insurance can really benefit anyone at any stage in life if they happen to become disabled for any number of reasons and require months of recovery.
If you have the means and want to protect your assets and savings from the potentially enormous costs of long-term care services, an insurance policy can provide the security you’re looking for.