Extended long-term care services can be quite expensive. And when you or a family member needs them, money should be the last thing on your mind. In fact, the cost of care is so high today that most people who use long-term care insurance typically get the value of their premium back within a year.
What Long-Term Care Covers
With Long-Term Care (LTC), the cost of caring for chronic illness or disability is covered, while your hard-earned wealth is preserved for your family. Long-term care insurance generally covers the expenses of:
- Nursing homes
- Assisted living programs
- In-home care
- Custodial care
- Alzheimer's care
Home and Community-Based Care Services
Long-term care may cover the costs of a variety of home and other services, such as physical, speech and occupational therapists, visiting nurses, adult day care and hospice care. It's important to know the different types of care available:
- Skilled Care—24/7 treatment by a registered nurse under a doctor's supervision
- Intermediate Care—Occasional nursing and rehabilitative care under the supervision of experienced medical personnel
- Custodial Care—Provides personal care needs to help with daily activities, including help eating and bathing
Medicaid and Long-Term Care
Some Long-Term Care (LTC) coverage is available through Medicaid, but only after you and your spouse have used most of your assets.
Choosing Your Own Provider
LTC insurance enables you to choose your private nursing home, assisted living facility, or home health care provider without considering if they accept Medicaid.
How Your Age Affects Your Insurance Premium
Your premium is based on your age at the time you enroll in your LTC plan. So, if you purchase the insurance at 40 years old, the costs would be much lower than it would be at 75 years old. However, age should not be a determining factor in deciding on long-term care. About 60 percent of individuals over age 65 will require at least some type of LTC services.