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Last Updated March 1, 2021

Your options for Long-Term Care

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Exploring your options

When it comes to aging ,you may have a personal preference when it comes to aging in your own home. However for some, remaining at home may come with great responsibilities, isolation, and overall limitations.  In these cases, the benefits of living at home no longer outweigh other alternatives and it becomes more practical to explore other options which offer more assistance. Housing options will vary by location and they will also possess many different options. These option vary from retirement homes, assisted living facilities, retirement communities, congregate living, etc. Today we will examine some of the different housing options available to you.

Congregate Housing

Congregate housing involve a shared common space between older residents. These residents live in their own individual units where housekeeping, transportation, meals, laundry, and other amenities are provided for them. This type of living is usually observed in retirement communities.

Independent Living

Independent living involves any type of independent living unit (apartment, mobile home, condo) usually within a retirement community. These type of arrangements do not typically include any additional services or assistance.

Residential Care (Assisted Living)

Residential care involves room and board within a facility along with regular supervision and personal care. These facilities range in size from small to large and offer licensed services and assistance.

Skilled Nursing (Nursing Homes)

Skilled nursing facilities offer personal care needs along with skilled nursing. These facilities are for individuals who require continuous nursing care and or rehabilitation. Residents are usually those recovering from serious illness, surgeries, Alzheimer’s, or other disorders.

Continuing Care Communities

Continuing care communities  extend housing and long term care services in exchange for a large entry fee along with a monthly maintenance fee. These monthly fees vary upon level of care provided and this living arrangement is contractually binding.

The More you Know:

Navigating through your future plans for long-term care can be both complicated and confusing. However, we believe It does not have to be that way and so our goal at LTC Tree is to make an otherwise stressful situation clear and easy! We believe that the more informed you are on the subject, the less stress you will feel when making the right arrangements for your own future. Compiled below are some common LTC insurance terms to watch for and what they mean:

A long-term care insurance policy is a plan which helps you cover the costs associated with your long term care. This will include a suite of services assisting with everyday activities such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and mobility which are otherwise uncovered by health insurance.

Inflation Protection:

When Purchasing long-term care insurance, insurers will offer you the option to purchase additional inflation protection. This is usually seen at a minimum of 5% compounded among many other options.  This inflation protection will allow your daily benefit as well as your maximum coverage to double every x amount of years. Inflation protection helps your benefits keeps up with the rising costs of long-term care and inflation.

Premium:

Premiums are a monetary amount that varies by policy and is determined upon your age at the time of applying as well as other factors. Your premium can be disbursed through many means payroll, savings accounts, or direct bill and is also subject to change.

Waiver of Premium:

Some policies allow you the option of a premium waiver which allows you to stop or waive you premiums while collecting benefits. Most waivers apply 90 days after the policy has begun paying benefits and other contingents may also apply.

A long-term care insurance policy is a plan which helps you cover the costs associated with your long term care. This will include a suite of services assisting with everyday activities such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and mobility which are otherwise uncovered by health insurance.

Inflation Protection:

When Purchasing long-term care insurance, insurers will offer you the option to purchase additional inflation protection. This is usually seen at a minimum of 5% compounded among many other options.  This inflation protection will allow your daily benefit as well as your maximum coverage to double every x amount of years. Inflation protection helps your benefits keeps up with the rising costs of long-term care and inflation.

Premium:

Premiums are a monetary amount that varies by policy and is determined upon your age at the time of applying as well as other factors. Your premium can be disbursed through many means payroll, savings accounts, or direct bill and is also subject to change.

Waiver of Premium:

Some policies allow you the option of a premium waiver which allows you to stop or waive you premiums while collecting benefits. Most waivers apply 90 days after the policy has begun paying benefits and other contingents may also apply.

Frequently Asked

Long-term Care is a topic that is on the agenda of most middle aged and aging individuals however, it is also a topic that many are under or mis informed regarding. Major topics such as understanding what is even considered Long-term care all the way to the average costs of Long- term care, can often go un researched by many. Asking important questions and being as informed on the topic as possible can help you plan for your future more effectively. When discussing Long-term Care, our goal is that you will become as knowledgeable on the subject as possible so that you are then able to plan for your own future care with ease and confidence instead of grief and confusion. Compiled below are a few commonly asked questions regarding Long-term care:

What is Long-Term Care?

Long term care refers to any help you may require meeting your own personal needs. These needs can be referred to as ADLs(activities of daily living) and they extend to eating, dressing, toileting, continence, bathing, and transferring. Differing circumstances may be responsible for why individuals may require assistance with these activities. People with Alzheimer’s or other chronic conditions will often require this type of ongoing assistance as well as people who can no longer drive and/or posses declining mobility.

Where Does One Receive Care?

Long-term care services are offered in many different forms of care, these range from community programs such as adult day care, nursing homes, and all the way to in home services. In fact, most people receiving care live at home with only a smaller percentage receiving care within a nursing home. Many individuals require assistance getting out of bed as well as to and from the toilet around their own home.

Can I lower my Chances of Needing Care?

It is important we take as best care of ourselves as possible however, even then some of will still require long-term care. Common diseases associated with aging such as arthritis and osteoporosis can increase these chances. Less predictable factors such as accidents can also put us at risk of needing care at any time. Risk factors aside, you still can and should take certain measures to help decrease your risk of needing care. It is advised you practice good health through regular exercise and good nutrition to help fight against age deterioration.

What is the Cost of Care?

The cost of care will vary depending on where you receive care from both a geographical and physical standpoint. The costs of someone receiving care in California may vary from the costs of care in Chicago and similarly so the cost of a nursing home versus  a live-in companion. Nursing home costs have been seen to range from $130-$200 a day. Live-in care can cost $150 or more a day and a home care giver can request an hourly rate of $26. All of these rates are subject to change dependent upon varying situations and needs.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

Long-term care insurance is coverage designed to pay benefits for expenses associated with your Long-term care needs defined above. Long-term care insurance can help cover costs within residential care facilities, nursing home facilities, personal care, home health care, hospice, day care, homemaker services, and respite care.  Different policies will determine whether or not they will pay for some or all of these services and a preliminary health screening is usually required before coverage is offered.

When do you need it?

Typically, individuals are able to claim long-term care insurance benefits when they’re either temporarily or permanently unable to perform two or more of the following activities without aide.

  • Dressing
  • Continence
  • Bathing
  • Eating
  • Toileting
  • Moving ( moving in and out of a chair, bed, or wheelchair)

Image result for long term care

A severe cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s disease would also constitute someone to need long-term care. In the case that someone requires long-term care there are various types of care to choose from. These options include hiring someone to assist you in the mornings, full time help, to living in a nursing home full time. The average cost associated with one month of care can vary from $1,500 to 7,000 however the cost of your care will depend on the services you require.The average duration of care tends to vary from two to four years however will vary by circumstances.

Health Insurance

It is important to note that health insurance will not pay for your long term care needs as long term care falls into its own category. Medicare will cover only up to 100 days of rehabilitation or care in a nursing home for those who meet a lower income criteria as well as other criterion. This leave your remaining options for covering the costs of your long term care as self funded, dependent on a family member, or purchasing long term care insurance.

Paying for LTC

Putting in place a long-term care insurance plan can serve as an affordable way to tend to many of the inevitable burdens associated with aging. There are several options to consider when searching for a policy to best fit your needs and budget. Experts suggest, customizing your policy with different variables such as inflation, shared benefits, and amount of benefits to make the policy more feasible for you. Experts also suggest purchasing a plan prior to retirement and while in good health, as your age and health are directly related in determining your premium, this is why it is best to take action sooner rather than later.

Working with a Long-term care specialist

Today, many American families are benefiting from these policies and are pleasantly surprised by its overall compatibility with their lifestyles. When it comes down to it, these plans are not only about protecting your own health but also about protecting your family from the emotional and financial repercussions of extended care. Working with a knowledgable and unbiased specialist can help you plan for the future and make getting older a little easier.

If you or someone you love is interested in learning more about Long Term Care Insurance be sure to visit: LTC TREE for more information.

 

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