Even the best laid financial plans can be derailed by unforeseen challenges. Healthcare – particularly long term healthcare – can be among the biggest.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), at least 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some long term care services at some point in their lives due to diseases, disabling chronic conditions, injury, developmental disabilities, and severe mental illness and at least 10% of them will require stays in long-term care facilities for over 5 years.
Nearly 41% of long term care is provided to people under age 65 who need help taking care of themselves due to diseases, disabling chronic conditions, injury, developmental disabilities, and severe mental illness.
Anyone can need long term care at any time in their life. Automobile and sporting accidents; disabling events such as strokes, brain tumors, and spinal cord injuries; and disabling illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease are examples of injuries and ailments that can happen to anyone at any age.
Long term care is care that you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks called activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence, and eating by yourself due to a chronic illness, injury, disability or the aging process. Long term care also includes the supervision you might need due to a severe cognitive impairement such as Alzheimer's Disease.
This type of care is not intended to cure you. It is chronic care that you might need for the rest of your life. You can receive long term care in your own home, a nursing home or another long term care facility, such as an assisted living facility.
People often confuse long term care with disability or short-term medical care. Long term care is not:
Contrary to what many people believe, Medicare and private health insurance programs do not pay for the majority of long term care services that most people need . . . Planning is essential for you to be able to get the care you might need.
In reality, private health insurance programs do not pay for the majority of long-term care services that most people need, and therefore planning is essential for you to be able to get the care you might need.
Disability insurance is also intended to replace some of the income of a working person who becomes disabled and can no longer work. Disability benefits do not cover either medical care or long-term care ; they provide a partial salary replacement while you are unable to work. Most disability insurance policies do not provide any benefits once you are over age 65 – exactly when you are more likely to need long-term care.
This type of policy covers basic daily needs over an extended time. While health care insurance or Medicare helps pay for immediate medical expenses, say, a surgeon's bill, long-term-care insurance helps people cope with the cost of chronic illnesses, such as Alzheimer's disease, or various disabilities. The policies pay for assistance with everything from the basics — bathing and dressing — to skilled care from therapists and nurses for months or even years.
Long-term-care insurance typically covers out-of-pocket expenses that come with home care, assisted living and nursing homes. Most policies have a waiting period that works like a deductible. So if you need the help of a home-nursing aide, you may have to wait 90 or 120 days before your benefits start to cover those costs.
The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance says people should expect to pay an average of $3,335 per year to cover a couple of healthy 60-year-olds on a plan that pays out a $150 daily benefit for up to three years. But prices can vary dramatically, depending upon factors such as the purchasers' age, the level of inflation-adjustment protection and whether the daily benefit will be $100, or some larger amount, say, $150 or $200.
Averaging $70,000 – $100,000 dollars annually, costs for such care can have a devastating impact on your hard earned savings and your loved ones without proper long term care planning in place. Start preparing for your long term care needs today before it gets too late.