In-Home Care Important to Most People - Many Anticipate Facility Care

New research indicates that people want to stay at home for long-term health care but expect to need assisted living. Many are surprised at how costly long-term health care is and its impact on the family. LTC Insurance helps keep people at home.

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In-Home Care Important to Most People - Many Anticipate Facility Care
7 Min Read December 9th, 2021

In the past few years, more people have become aware of the growing problem of aging, changing health, longevity, and long-term health care. The virus crisis has put long-term care front and center, and many families have experienced it firsthand. 

A recent insurance company survey shows that a vast majority of individuals wish to remain at home when they need care; however, they are expecting they will need facility care like assisted living. 

Nationwide Financial, a leading company offering long-term health care solutions, completed their ninth annual survey that showed 86% of adult respondents say being in their home for long-term care is most desirable. Not surprisingly, most people have no desire to be in a nursing home. 

Rather Die Than Live in a Nursing Home

Nationwide Retirement Institute Long-Term Care survey also revealed that 60% of baby boomers say they would rather die than live in a nursing home. However, many people reveal they know little about funding care costs and available care options.

Other key findings of the survey:

  • 56% of boomers expect to be in their own homes when they require long-term health care
  • 23% of boomers expect to need assisted living facility care
  • 10% of boomers expect to live with a family member and have them provide their care
  • 6% of boomers expect to be in a nursing home
  • 2% of boomers expect to need adult day care

Health Insurance and Medicare Not Options for Funding Future Care

Health insurance, including Medicare and supplements, pay a limited amount of skilled long-term care services, but most long-term health care is custodial (help with daily living activities or supervision due to dementia) and not covered at all by health insurance, Medicare, and supplements. 

Medicaid will pay for long-term care, including custodial care, but you must have little or no income and assets to qualify. Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for all levels of care in all settings, including at home, but you must purchase a policy before your health changes, and you require care.

Most Families are Unprepared for High Costs of LTC

Often, families go into crisis mode when an older parent requires care leaving adult children to become caregivers or find professional care paid for from their parent's savings - creating a financial crisis. 

The costs of long-term health care services are rising rapidly because of increasing demand and labor costs that are growing every year. Nursing homes are the most expensive and average over $100,000 a year. Home care and assisted living are more affordable but not cheap and still create a financial strain on families. 

The costs will vary depending on where you live. For example, according to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator, a month of in-home care, based on a 44-hour week, in Charlotte, North Carolina, averages over $4100 a month today. But, in twenty years, that same care is expected to run over $7800 a month - North Carolina Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.

Base assisted living facilities costs run on average $4000 a month in Charlotte, but that base cost should run over $7400 a month in twenty years. Keep in mind, assisted living facilities will add surcharges on top of the base cost depending on the amount of care you may require.

Compare Charlotte with Bridgeport, Connecticut. Home care in Bridgeport averages over $4800 a month today and over $8000 a month in twenty years. The base assisted living costs averages over $6100 a month today, and in twenty years, it should run about $10,200 a month. If you need a nursing home in Bridgeport, expect to pay at least $16,600 a month today, but in twenty years, that will average over $27,700 a month Connecticut Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.

You can find the current and future cost of all types of long-term health care services where you live, along with state-specific information on funding solutions, regulations, tax incentives, and available care options by using the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator page - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.

LTC Insurance Helping Most People to Stay at Home

For decades the criticism of Long-Term Care Insurance was it covered only nursing home care, and nobody wanted to go to a nursing home. Yet, since the late 1990s, LTC Insurance has been comprehensive and covers all types of care in all care settings, including in-home care. 

Claims data compiled by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), a national advocacy and education group, says most LTC Insurance claims start with in-home care.

long-term-care-insurance claims statistics

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. The data is based on traditional LTC Insurance policies constituting most of the policies purchased over the past three decades.

"You buy insurance to protect against real risks and real needs. The risk of needing care in your own home is real," said Jesse Slome, the executive director of the AALTCI.

Need for Long-Term Care Happens at All Ages - Increases with Aging

Advances in medical science keep us alive, but it also has increased the risk of needing help with daily activities or supervision due to a decline in cognitive ability. 

The AALTCI notes that 69% of Long-Term Care Insurance policyholders start receiving benefits between the ages of 75 and 89.

Long-Term Care Insurance is medically underwritten and cannot be purchased "when you need it." Premiums are calculated based on several factors, including your age when you obtain coverage, health, family history, and the total amount of available money in the policy. The perfect time to purchase LTC Insurance coverage is before you retire, ideally in your 50s.

"Unfortunately, many people don't do any planning until the need for care is either imminent or already present," Slome says. "At that point, it is too late because insurance companies will only issue policies to those who can health qualify."

According to the AALTCI, the average age for those buying new traditional LTC Insurance remains between 56 and 57. 

Confusion with Long-Term Disability Insurance with Long-Term Care

The Nationwide study conducted by Harris Polls seems to suggest that many working Americans are confusing disability insurance benefits provided at work with actual Long-Term Care Insurance. 

According to the survey, 39% of millennials claim they own Long-Term Care Insurance. Only 26% of GenXers and 19% of Boomers indicate they own an LTC policy. 

Most Long-Term Care Insurance is purchased outside the workplace and is usually unavailable. According to experts, the few available plans typically have minimal benefits and are unsuitable for long-term care planning. 

Disability insurance available through the workplace replaces a small portion of a person's salary if they cannot work and is usually not portable if you leave the job. Disability insurance does not pay for any long-term health care.

Several Insurance Planning Options Available

There are several options to prepare for future declining health and the costs and burdens of aging. Most consumers select traditional Long-Term Care Insurance; however, they typically have the most conservative underwriting rules. Every company has its own criteria, and a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist can help you determine both suitability and eligibility. 

Traditional policies can also be "partnership certified." Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance offers additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection allowing you to shelter assets based on the total amount of benefits paid by the policy - What is a Long-Term Care Partnership Policy? | LTC News.

There are tax benefits also available - Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide | LTC News

However, a growing number of consumers have an interest in asset-based LTC Insurance, known as Hybrid policies. These policies combine life insurance or an annuity with qualified long-term care benefits. However, they cost much more - but include death benefits. Caution, be sure you only consider a policy that meets federal guidelines under Section 7702(b) of the U.S. Code. There are several consumer protections in any policy that meets 7702(b) guidelines that are vital to the policyholder - Are All Long-Term Care Insurance Policies the Same? | LTC News

Some states also offer limited duration or 'short-term care' plans that offer limited benefits but have more relaxed underwriting rules. 

Planning before the crisis will be easier on your family and your finances. We see changes in our health, body, mobility, and mind as we grow older. The goal is to plan before these changes limit your options or become too expensive to consider.

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

The costs and burdens of aging are a reality for many families in the U.S. and worldwide. Ignoring the problem today means a crisis for your family tomorrow. There is a better way for you, your family, and your finances.

When you own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, you own a solution. However, don't delay. Your fairly good health today gives you the option to plan.

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance gives you control and helps you avoid dependence on your loved ones. They, in turn, will have the time to be family instead of caregivers.

Available Resources on LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS offers several tools and resources to help you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Seek Professional Guidance

Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family. Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, premiums do vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.

A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have the peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

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 - 

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.

LTC NEWS - Your Marketing and Advertising Partner

Use LTC NEWS to drive traffic to your website and help you attract people interested in your products and services. Plus, you can improve your website's SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your products and services.

There are various marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, and strategic alliances, and more are available. 

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

Share Your Knowledge - Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS is open to contributors to share their stories with the world. 

You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

Be sure to write for our core target audience of adults aged 40 and older. Our audience is worldwide; however, our primary target is the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking nations. 

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS. 

You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: newsroom@ltcnews.com - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

Shared Links

LTC NEWS offers a 'helpful links' page so readers looking for additional information can find them easily. You can get a dofollow link to your website on LTC NEWS in exchange for a dofollow link on your site.

Let's work together and help consumers who search for us on the web - Site Request | LTC News.

Sharing News with LTC NEWS

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - newsroom@ltcnews.com

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