Long Term Care requires a wide range of medical and support services. Long Term Care Insurance helps with the services that are required for people with a degenerative condition. If you have a loved one with any of the following conditions, you may be interested in LTC Insurance to help you provide for your loved one.
Long Term Care Conditions include:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Parkinson's disease
- if you or someone you know had a stroke
- or even for prolonged illnesses, such as cancer
Who Needs LTC or Long Term Care Insurance?
Long Term Care is typically needed for older individuals in their later years. This care can start at different times, depending on the individual and their personal health habits such as diet and exercise. Most individuals that start Long Term Care are in their eighties. However, it can happen that some younger people may also need Long Term Care as a result of accidents or unforseen conditions.
Long Term Care Resulting From Accidents
- a fall from a roof
- motorcycle accident (especially a higher risk in men)
- car accident
- degenerative condition from disease as a result from traveling
- or even illnesses like Multiple Sclerosis or more commonly referred to as MS
Long-term Care is a variation of services which help meet both the medical and non-medical needs of people with a chronic illness or disability. These individuals cannot care for themselves for long periods of time. A care giver provides individual assistance with activities of day to day living or the supervision of someone who is cognitively impaired.
Long-Term Care Activities
Example of Long-Term Care activities include:
- getting out of bed
- walking to the bathroom
- taking a shower
- getting dressed
- eating meals
If you are healthy you may take these daily tasks for granted. These basic activities are considered Activities of Daily Living or ADL's. When someone becomes disabled or develops a degenerative condition, performing these ADL's can be difficult without assistance from another person. Performing these simple functions can be a challenge especially for an elderly person. Long Term Care or LTC can help you or your family with ADL's. This type of care is comparable to the care a parent provides a baby. This type of care is a full-time job and can be very expensive. Long-Term Care can be provided in different settings from nursing homes, in your home, at a assisted living facility, or through adult day services.
The Most Important Things To Know About Long-Term Care
If you are thinking about long-term care insurance, here are the most important things to know:
- You must health-qualify for long-term care insurance. Not everyone can. Because health changes, especially as you grow older, it's smart to look into this well before you reach retirement age (your 50s are generally the best time to start).
- Long-term care insurance can be far more affordable than most people think. Cost is an issue; so you need to know there are many ways to make this protection affordable.
- Rates (Premiums) can vary significantly from one insurer to another. Each insurer has pricing "sweet spots" based on your age when applying. Available discounts and options can vary too. It's a reason to work with someone with access to policies from multiple insurers.
- Health qualifications can also vary from one insurer to another. If you're in great health, don't use tobacco products, take no medications -- then every insurer will accept you. Each insurer sets their own health-qualifications and they change from time to time. Be prepared to share information with an insurance professional. You want them matching you with the company offering the best protection for the best price.
- You're only going to buy long-term care insurance once. Deciding to buy long-term care insurance is a financial and emotional decision. But, it's different than buying car or home insurance, which people switch from time to time. It's almost never economically advantageous to switch (primarily because costs are based on your age at application). Many people sell long-term care insurance. Make sure you work with someone who really knows this business. It will save you money and yield benefits for many years to come.
What Are The Biggest Mistakes To Avoid in Long-Term Care Insurance?
Isn't this our biggest fear when making a purchasing decision; making a mistake we'll regret. That's why we read Consumer Reports and research online. So, when it comes to long-term care insurance, what are the biggest mistakes to avoid?
- Waiting too long to start planning. You don't have to buy insurance protection today; but at least find out what a policy will cost. If you take prescription medications or have health conditions, find out if you can health qualify. Ask what health changes might make you ineligible to health qualify.
- Believing it won't happen to you. Denial is the best reason not to plan. And, honestly, we hope you live a long life … never have an accident or illness. Yes, we hope you never need long-term care. We also hope you never have a car accident. But hope is not a strategy. Planning for the future is.
- Counting on government programs. If you are 50 or 55, are you really ready to count on Medicare and Medicaid being able to pay for the care you want in 15 or 20 years. Everyone wants someone else to pay the bill. If you prefer having choice, options and independence, then you'd better have a plan in place … just in case.
- Not working with a long-term care insurance professional. As you'll find us saying many times, costs vary between insurers, discounts vary between insurers and acceptable health conditions vary. You want to work with an experienced and knowledgeable professional who stays current and can get you the best coverage for the best price. Are we biased in favor of our Association members? You bet!
Do I need Long Term Care if I don't plan on going to a nursing home?
Long Term Care Insurance does not mean that you plan on or will be going to a nursing home. LTC could be a chance to extend a stay in your home with home care coverage. One of the most significant benefits of long-term care insurance is the ability to receive care in your own home. Almost half of all Long Term Care insurance benefits pay for home care.
Ask us how we can help you plan for LTC Insurance
Weather you feel like it is an eventual need for LTC insurance or if you want to plan for LTC in the future, please contact Curt Hjorth in Norfolk, Nebraska to discuss your options. Give Curt a call for more information and rates for Long Term Care Insurance.