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 8th, 2021 Updated:May 22nd, 2022

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 its 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 $4300 a month today. But, in twenty years, that same care is expected to run over $7300 a month - North Carolina Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.

Base assisted living facilities costs run on average $4200 a month in Charlotte, but that base cost should run over $7100 a month in twenty years. Keep in mind that 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 about $4800 a month today and over $8000 a month in twenty years. The base assisted living costs average about $6400 a month today, and in twenty years, it should run about $10,900 a month. If you need a nursing home in Bridgeport, expect to pay at least $18,100 a month today, but in twenty years, that will average over $31,000 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.

Pie Graph Showing Where Long-Term Care Insurance Claims Begin

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 these advances also increase 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. At that point, it is too late because insurance companies will only issue policies to those who can health qualify.

Jesse Slome

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 suggests 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

Quality health care is something you and your loved ones deserve. There are minimum standards you should expect. When someone gets older and needs long-term health care, it may be harder to determine quality care as you might not observe it like you would with other types of care.

Think about your concerns. If you are planning for retirement, the future costs and quality of long-term health care should be on top of your list. Don't place the responsibility on your family; being prepared will give your loved ones the time to be family.

Quality care often costs more. Finding quality caregivers and long-term care facilities can be challenging. Long-Term Care Insurance gives you access to your choice of quality care services. The guaranteed tax-free benefits keep you in control. You get your choice of care services, including at home. Your assets are preserved as long-term health care costs continue to increase. Your family will not have to become your caregiver - they will have the time to be your family.

The best time to prepare for the costs and burdens of aging and the consequences these changes in your health, body, and mind will bring on you and your family is when you are younger.

Most people obtain coverage in their 50s. You might have questions and LTC NEWS answers many of the most asked questions here - Frequently Asked Questions | LTC News.

Seek Professional Help Planning for Long-Term Care

Experts recommend seeking the help of a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you find the right coverage. A specialist will match your age, health, and family history with the right coverage at the right price. 

Long-term care is a very specialized area, and few insurance agents and financial advisors have the expertise. Find a specialist who represents the top companies as premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies. Leading specialists will often have over 500 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance.

A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Planning Tools and Resources Available on LTC NEWS

Planning for the future is never easy, but long-term health care planning can be very complicated and comes with many emotions. Getting the right tools and resources will make the process much easier.

One of the goals is to reduce the stress and anxiety usually placed on your family at the time of crisis. LTC NEWS can be beneficial in providing you with important information for you to consider.

LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

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

Need Help Now for Mom or Dad?

If your family is already in crisis and you need to find help for mom or dad, LTC NEWS can help. We have put together several comprehensive guides to help you in your process.

Start by reading our four guides -  

If your loved one is lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea. 

Get Assistance in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim

Many insurance companies have issued Long-Term Care Insurance policies over the years. Filing a claim can sometimes be complicated unless you know what to do or get expert help and assistance. 

Don't allow the claim process to stop you from using the benefits available in an LTC policy. Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care. 

If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help. LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work - free with no obligation. 

Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

Advantages 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. You might be eligible at younger ages as well. 

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, and even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. Mike Banner, 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.

Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS - Share Your Knowledge 

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, Australia, 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 to LTC NEWS and not 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

Your Marketing and Advertising Partner – LTC NEWS

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, 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.

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.

You can also affordably purchase a dofollow link to your website or blog on LTC NEWS. Just contact the advertising department.

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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