An analysis of Long-Term Care Insurance claims processed in 2019 shows families electing in-home care instead of facilities. The research analyzed by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) shows 70% of LTC Insurance claims paid for in-home services.
"This represents an increase from 52 percent (from the 2014 analysis)," said Jesse Slome, executive director of the AALTCI." The majority of claims began and also ended with the policyholder receiving care in their own home."
Slome says that many people associate Long-Term Care Insurance with nursing homes. While policies do pay for all types of facilities, including adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, and nursing homes, the facts show in-home care as the popular choice for American families.
Trend for In-Home Care Continues
Updated analysis released in December 2020 reinforces that in-home care is preferred. According to the Association, about 73% of new Long-Term Care Insurance claims start with the policyholder receiving care in their own home. Some 18% begin their claim receiving benefits at an assisted living facility. Only 8% start benefits in a nursing home.
Demand for in-home long-term care is rising, and those with Long-Term Care Insurance are using their benefits to meet those needs and desires.
"When care is needed, people prefer to remain in the familiar surroundings and comfort of their own home. Long-Term Care Insurance can cover costs associated with care services provided at home," Slome explained.
Billions in Benefits Paid by LTC Insurance
In 2021 the major insurance companies paid over $12.6 Billion in benefits from Long-Term Care Insurance policies. These benefits helped American families access their choice of quality care without placing tremendous burdens on family members.
Most Long-Term Care Insurance policies offer comprehensive benefits giving the policyholder, and their family, the choice of how care will be delivered.
Experts say Long-Term Care Insurance offers choices. Some policies provide cash benefits, making the benefits even more flexible.
Some LTC Policies Offer Cash Benefits
"Cash benefits that can pay for non-certified caregivers, including a family member, are one of the options currently offered," according to George Mellendorf, the recently retired President of LTC Solutions, a national distributor of individual and multi-life Long-Term Care Insurance products.
"Policies that can pay immediate benefits for home care without having to meet the standard 90-day elimination or deductible period are increasingly popular," Mellendorf explained.
LTC Insurance is Affordable
The criticism from some people about Long-Term Care Insurance is that policies are expensive; however, today's LTC Insurance remains affordable and rate stable. Many states have rate stability rules in force that make it difficult to raise premiums in the future. Plus, policies are custom designed with a variety of options.
"For less than $100 a month, a married 57-year-old male can currently purchase a policy that pays $6775 monthly for home care services when he reaches age 85," Slome said. "If home care is needed for two years, the policy would pay out over $148,000 in total benefits."
Several tax incentives are available, making premiums more affordable, and proceeds are tax-free. Plus, most states offer Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance plans with dollar-for-dollar asset protection.
Mellendorf explains there are several consumer-friendly features with today's LTC Insurance plans. These features include various inflation benefits and additional benefits to paying for items like home modifications or ramps to help the policyholder stay home.
Longevity Brings Higher Risk of Dependency
People require long-term care services due to changes in their health, body, or mind. When individuals need help with routine daily living activities or supervision due to a cognitive decline, they will have access to care.
The benefits safeguard income and assets while, at the same time, reducing the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on family members.
Health insurance, including Medicare and supplements, pays a minimal amount of skilled services for long-term care, leaving the responsibility on your family and finances.
The problem of long-term care is both a cash flow issue and a family issue. Today's LTC Insurance addresses both issues so the policyholder can maintain independence and control and limit dependency.
Experts suggest planning before retirement, ideally in your 40s and 50s, when you still enjoy good health. LTC Insurance is medically underwritten, and every company has its own guidelines.
LTC Specialists Help Navigate Options
Be sure to seek the assistance of an experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many available options. Premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.
You can find a trusted and experienced specialist by clicking here.
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator can show you both the current and future costs of extended care services where you live. Use this tool by clicking here.
About the Author
An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.
Contributor since August 21st, 2017
LTC NEWS offers man tools and resources to help you research the financial costs and burdens of aging so you can find an affordable solution.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS by clicking here.
Items to Discuss with a Long-Term Care Specialist
Be sure to speak with a qualified and trusted Long-Term Care Insurance specialist when you research long-term care. Be sure to ask tehse questions:
- Partnership: Most states offer special policies that provide dollar-for-dollar asset protection. The Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program might be one of the best-kept secrets in retirement planning. Make sure the specialist explains this program and how it might help you.
- Tax incentives: There are federal tax incentives available for some people. If you own your own business, be sure to ask.
- Health Savings Accounts: If you have an HSA you can use the pre-tax money in your account to pay for the premium.
- Asset-Based or Hybrid policies: These are life insurance or annuities with a rider for long-term care. Careful, only a handful are actually a long-term care benefit. However, one of these policies can provide you with the flexibility of both a long-term care benefit or a death benefit. They are expensive but can be paid with a single premium.
- Health and Family History: Make sure the specialist asks you detailed questions about your health, family history, and retirement plans. Underwriting criteria vary with each insurance company. If they are not asking you detailed questions, then find another specialist.
Available Research Tools
One of the best tools is the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator. You can find the current and future cost of long-term health care where you live. This information will help you design an appropriate LTC Insurance policy.
Get Published on LTC NEWS
LTC NEWS offers many resources to help families address the consequences of long-term care, aging, health, caregiving, and other retirement issues. You can be part of the effort to help educate consumers throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Write a story for publication on LTC NEWS and let America hear what you have to say. Be sure your article fits the LTC NEWS target audience of adults 40-70.
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- Long-Term Care
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Advertising and Marketing Opportunities on LTC NEWS
Reach an educated audience. Readers of LTC NEWS are researching retirement issues, including aging, health, caregiving, and long-term care. Other readers seek information for a parent or other loved one who is experiencing declining health or aging issues and require extended care.
Many marketing opportunities are available, including sponsored content articles. Sponsored content offers you a long-form way to sell yourself, your company, and your ideas.
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Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities
If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.
Take a moment and read -
Get Expert Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim
LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with your Long-Term Care Insurance policy.
You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.