Presented by: Vision Financial Group
4 Critical Questions to Ask About Long-Term Care
- What is long-term care (LTC)? LTC refers to the ongoing services and support needed by people who have chronic health conditions or disabilities. There are three levels of long-term care:
- Skilled care: generally round-the-clock care that’s given by professional health care providers such as nurses, therapists, or aides under a doctor’s supervision
- Intermediate care: Also provided by professional health care providers but on a less frequent basis than skilled care
- Custodial care: Personal care that is often given by family caregivers, nurses’ aides, or home health workers who provide assistance with what are called “activities of daily living” such as bathing, eating, and dressing
LTC is not just provided in nursing homes- in fact, the most common type of LTC is home-based care. LTC services may also be provided in a variety of other settings, such as assisted living facilities and adult day care centers.
- Why is it important to plan for long-term care? No one expects to need LTC, but it’s important to plan for it nonetheless. Approximately 8% of people between ages 40 and 50 will have a disability that may require LTC services. About 70% of people will need LTC at some point during their lifetimes after reaching age 65.
- Doesn’t Medicare pay for long-term care? Many people mistakenly believe that Medicare will pay for LTC but Medicare provides only limited coverage for LTC services such as skilled nursing care or physical therapy. And although Medicare provides some health care benefits, it doesn’t cover custodial care, the type of care older individuals most often need. Medicaid, which is often confused with Medicare, is the joint federal-state program that two-thirds of nursing home residents currently rely on to pay some of their LTC expenses. To qualify for Medicaid, you must have limited income and assets, and although Medicaid generally covers nursing home care, it provides only limited coverage for home health in certain states.
- Should I buy LTC insurance? LTC insurance can help you preserve your assets and guarantee that you’ll have access to a range of care options. However, it can be expensive, so before you purchase a policy, make sure you can afford the premiums both now and in the future. The cost depends primarily on your age, but it also depends on the benefits you choose. If you decide to purchase LTC insurance be sure to consider the benefit amount, benefit period, elimination period (number of days you must pay for your own care before the policy begins paying), types of facilities included, and inflation protection.
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Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016. Investment Advisory Services offered through Investment Advisors, a division of ProEquities, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through ProEquities, Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA & SIPC. Vision Financial Group, Inc. is independent of ProEquities, Inc.