What you need to know about long term care insurance

You probably don’t want to think about getting old. You definitely don’t want to think about living in a nursing home or needing someone to help you with the basics of living.

But the facts are that around 70% of adults over the age of 65 need long term care assistance sometime in their life.

You may rely on the idea that Medicare will cover all these expenses but that just isn’t the case. This is where long term care insurance comes in. Here’s what you need to know.

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare covers care that is medically necessary and is focused on short term acute care. This includes doctor’s visits, medication and hospital stays.

Medicare will cover your care for up to 100 days if you meet these conditions.

  • You have had a hospital stay of at least three days.
  • Skilled care from a nursing professional is needed.

Medicare will only pay in full for 20 of the 100 days of care. For the remaining 80 days, you will be responsible to pay $140 per day for continued care and Medicare will pick up any balance. That can add up to $11,200 out of pocket with Medicare. After the 100 days, you will receive no assistance from Medicare.

What does Medicare not cover?

Medicare will not pay for a stay in a long term care facility. Costs for these kinds of facilities range from $100,000 to $250,000 per year so most people’s retirement funds will not last long.

Personal care services are not covered. That means that you won’t have any coverage for assistance with bathing, eating or dressing. There is no coverage for custodial care, which can include supervision that may be needed if dementia or other ailments set in.

Long term care insurance fills the gap

A long term care policy can cover the services that Medicare does not.

It pays for services like home care, assisted living, respite, nursing home and adult day care. Respite care allows your primary care giver some time off. If this is your child, it can allow them some time to spend with their own children.

Long term care insurance allows aging adults more flexibility and choice. It gives them the ability to stay at home, receive the care they need, and remain more independent, even with ailments and disabilities.

Act in the short term

There are limits to the availability of long term care coverage. You need to make sure that you get the coverage while you can. It’s a good idea to talk to an experienced insurance agent about long term care insurance in the short term.

A long term care policy should be part of your retirement planning portfolio. It is a way to protect your assets, so that you can leave a legacy to your loved one’s and not spend it all on medical care.

To find out more about long term care insurance speak to the team at John B Wright.