Long Term Care. When those three words are spoken, what comes to mind? Many make the common association with a nursing home. Others may mistakenly think that they are already covered for related long term care matters through their health insurance or disability income policy or policies, or they think that the Government will pay for this issue.
The Government has been clear that the only one that pays for Long Term Care is you; and the question is when and if this issue presents itself to you—how much of your money you or your family will use. As of now, the Government will generally step in and pay for long term care as part of the Medicaid program but only after you have spent the majority of your money on your care and also when you have spent down in order to meet certain state specific income, asset and physical metrics established by the state you have residence in. Said differently, you must be poor by state standards before the government will assist you under the Medicaid program, and the venue where they will likely assist you under this program is the nursing home.
Health Insurance—whether it is your private health insurance or Medicare—is designed to help you get better and is utilized when there is an expectation of recovery, and they employ skilled care in order to do so. Skilled care is delivered by highly trained professionals like Medical Doctors, Nurses and Physical Therapists and examples can include tube feeding and I.V.’s in an effort to help you get better. Long Term Care uses what is commonly known as non-skilled care to assist you and help you get through the rigors of each day. Non-skilled care is delivered by people that have less training than the folks delivering skilled care, and will routinely help you with the ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) Eating, Bathing, Dressing, Toileting, Transferring, Continence.
Disability Income generally protects your income for a time specific period and there can be financial qualifications to satisfy along with physical underwriting associated with securing a disability income policy. Generally, the coverage with disability income is finite in its amount and usually ends when you are 65.
Long Term Care could be a logical next step in financial planning for you to consider, and it performs multiple roles within your financial plan:
- Protects your Financial Plan
- Protects your portfolio, whether it is a retirement or non retirement account so that it can execute for the manner in which its intended.
- Protects your income
- Protects your family from becoming your Long Term Care Plan
Long term care is really an event that happens to a person’s family and, if not protected properly with long term care planning— can also have adverse consequences to their financial plan, income and portfolio. There is a continuum of care available to someone that experiences Long Term Care related circumstances that can include not only the nursing home but also assisted care living facilities, home health, adult day care and community based supporting services such as meals on wheels, senior centers and transportation services. In short, a long term care policy will provide an income stream to pay for care in the venue of your choosing along the continuum of care, services and housing that you may require or need as a result of being on claim.