long term care insurance facts

Live Wisely - January 28, 2019

What Should I Know About Long-term Care Insurance?

By Kristine Jepsen

Insurance covers a range of items, from autos and homes to health and life. If you think the costs of long-term care in your later years will fall under your current health insurance policy, think again. The special assistance needed by people with declining mobility or medical conditions can be complicated – and so is the insurance that helps make such care affordable.

Q. How does long-term care insurance differ from regular health insurance?

Medicare and other insurance plans cover medical needs but not the ongoing personal care assistance many people need as they age. Regular health insurance applies to costs such as doctors’ visits, hospital stays, medications and ambulance bills. Long-term care insurance helps cover the costs of some or all of the services provided at residential assisted-living facilities and nursing care homes, and in some cases (if you purchase a policy that included it) in-home care for those who prefer to age in place. 

Q. Do I need long-term care insurance?

No one has a crystal ball that can answer this question for you. Many factors can contribute to your chances of needing long-term care in your lifetime. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 52% of those ages 65+ will need long-term care. Regardless of age, anyone could find themselves needing help with daily activities when their mobility and vitality decline. While you have options to consider for how you plan to pay for care, securing long-term care insurance can go a long way to help defray the costs-pay now; benefit later. It is also important to note: You cannot wait until you need help to think about long-term care insurance. You must qualify for coverage in order to purchase it. 

Q. How much does long-term care cost?

Goodwin House at Home research found the following average annual costs of care: 

Your actual costs will depend on the level of care you need, though these averages provide a good starting point to use as you make your own plans. 

These costs can be offset considerably if you have long-term care insurance. Of course, you will want to factor in the costs of insurance as you consider all your options. How much you will pay for your policy will vary. Your age and gender will factor into the costs as will the type of coverage you decide to include in your policy. Genworth offers a cost calculator if you want to get a general idea as you explore your options. 

Services

Rate

Annual Cost

Home Care Services

4 hours/day @ $28/hour

$40,880

Home Care Services

8 hours/day @ $28/hour

$81,760

Assisted Living

$247/day

$90,155

Home Care$402/day

$146,730

 

Q. How else can long-term care insurance help me?

Planning for the future provides peace of mind for ourselves, as well as our families and friends who want to help when we need it. With insurance, you pay for future costs now and provide greater financial security for yourself and your heirs.

Q. Is Goodwin House at Home long-term care insurance?

Goodwin House at Home is a continuing care at home (CCAH) program. Based on care and services provided in continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), most CCAHs offer plans that provide both coverage for future costs of care, as well as care coordination from an expert. Choosing Goodwin House at Home over a traditional long-term care insurance policy will secure personalized attention from caregivers, health professionals and a Member Services Facilitator to coordinate your changing care needs. Get in touch with us today to start a conversation about your future. We are here to help you make a plan. 

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Kristine Jepsen is a writer and editor for literary journals online and in print, as well as a professional business counselor, Pilates and Oula! dance instructor, grant-writer, and brand content developer. Her work with Goodwin House at Home centers on health and wellness along the aging continuum, covering topics as diverse as dating apps and financial scams. She lives on a farm in the Midwest with her horse-loving tween daughter and many four-legged friends, large and small.

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