Many people believe they will never need long term care. Some may be right, but others are sadly mistaken. In fact, studies show that 70% of Americans who turn 65 will need long term care at some point. Especially if you are married, odds are, one of you is more than likely going to need long term care.

Long term care is not just limited to medical care. It also covers in-home care and nursing homes. In-home assisted living is when someone, a licensed nurse or someone else, helps you do basic everyday tasks, such as bathing, eating, getting dressed, using the toilet, and many more.

Average Prices of Long Term Care

All of these services can be extremely costly depending on where you live. For example, if you live in Alaska, Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Hawaii, chances are you’re going to be paying a lot of money if you need any assistance. According to Think Advisor, last year in Alaska, the average annual cost of long term care was $114,767. That’s a lot of money coming out of your own pockets if you don’t have long term care insurance.

Paying for Long Term Care

If you think Medicare and Medicaid are going to cover all of your long term care needs, once again, you are sadly mistaken. Medicare and Medicaid very rarely cover the help you need with long term care. Medicare only covers medically necessary care such as hospital stays, drugs, and doctors visits. Medicare only covers funds for short term services. If you’re lucky, Medicare might cover the first 100 days in a nursing home, but after that you’re on your own.

Medicaid helps people with very low incomes and assets pay for some or all of their heath care bills. Medicaid covers long term care services in nursing homes, but does not cover custodial care in nursing homes or at home. It is very difficult to be eligible for Medicaid due to its very strict qualifications. Many people will go as far as to transfer their assets out of their name, but state agencies know people do this and have imposed a look-back period of 60 months. If they find anything, they’ll bring those assets back into your estate, so you’re basically out of luck.

Alternative Plans to Medicare and Medicaid

Long-term care insurance information, form and stethoscope.

Long term care insurance is one way you may pay for long term care. This type of insurance will reimburse you for some or all of your long-term care costs. If you have many assets and/or a good income that you would not like to use to pay for long term care, then LTC insurance is for you. LTC insurance gives you the ability to choose where you will be receiving care from. Investing in LTC insurance before heath problems begin developing is right thing to do. Once heath issues begin, most companies will not want to take you as a client because they have medical underwriting standards to keep the price of LTC insurance affordable.

You can’t ignore the fact that you or your spouse will eventually need LTC, so why not plan ahead of time. Contact one our our LTC Tree agents and find out which policy would be best for you.