One thing we know today is the cost of long-term health care is expensive. However, according to cost-of-care surveys, there are variations in the prices of care services based on location, level of care, and amenities, and these differences are staggering.
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator details the median averages of all types and levels of long-term health care. This calculator is a great tool to help you find quality care and compare the costs you are quoted for a loved one's care to the average. The calculator is also a great planning tool to determine the future financial impact of long-term care services and how best to plan for these costs.
For example, the national median annual cost of a private room in a nursing home is $105,355, according to the LTC NEWS calculator.
However, in Alaska, that same service costs a recipient $300,310, among the highest in the nation. By comparison, in Oklahoma, someone who wanted the same long-term care option would only need to pay a median cost of $70,215, or about one-fourth as much as in Alaska.
Luckily, most long-term care services are delivered at home or assisted living, and those costs are generally less. Less, true, cheap? No.
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator shows the median averages for home care, adult day care, assisted living, and nursing homes. These costs are also broken down based on each state's major metro areas.
Again, this calculator, or any calculator, is a planning tool. Many factors go into the actual cost of long-term health care. You can count on the fact that long-term care services are getting more expensive in the years ahead and are not paid for by traditional health insurance or Medicare.
Cost of Care is Increasing Year After Year
Every survey shows the cost of care is increasing every year. Many factors are driving these higher costs. Higher demand for care, inflation, and rising labor costs are all involved.
Since these factors differ from one place to another, the cost of care varies by location.
Advance Planning is Key to a Successful Future Retirement
Planning experts suggest that if you have assets to protect, Long-Term Care Insurance should be part of your retirement plan. The cost of care, especially in one's home or assisted living, which most people need as opposed to a nursing home, should be factored into the benefit structure of any policy a consumer may purchase.
Since most care is not provided in a nursing home, insurance experts recommend insuring for the most likely need, home care or assisted living. Since Long-Term Care Insurance is custom designed, you can determine how much your policy will pay for future care.
Another consideration is the ever-increasing cost of care. Since most people obtain coverage in their 50s, inflation benefits become very important.
The problem with long-term care is it is both a cash flow issue and a family issue. Unless you plan ahead for your family and finances will be impacted.
Jesse Slome, the executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), a national consumer advocacy group, says there are several ways to save on policies.
Today's Long-Term Care insurance policy is quite different from the coverage offered a decade ago. Insurers today offer a number of features and options that are not just extremely beneficial to consumers but can significantly reduce the cost.
Consumers can select monthly or daily benefits, inflation options, and other available riders. All of these factors, including your age and health, will determine the cost of a Long-Term Care Insurance policy.
A Qualified Long-Term Care Specialist Can Design an Affordable Plan
Many things go into a Long-Term Care Insurance policy -- and several types of policies to choose from. Although LTC Insurance is highly regulated. Every insurance company must file its products and pricing with the state's insurance department.
Many specialists recommend a plan that makes a catastrophic situation manageable. They typically will determine your future income streams and asset levels to make appropriate recommendations.
Health is one of the primary factors to determine eligibility for coverage and cost. In the process of underwriting, an insurance company will determine if an applicant is eligible to get coverage and at what rate class.
Most specialists will ask detailed health and family history questions before making any recommendations. Underwriting varies between insurance companies.
A Long-Term Care Insurance specialist is essential to assist in designing an appropriate plan. The AALTCI suggests working with a specialist with substantial experience who works with multiple top-rated insurance companies.
After asking detailed questions, a Long-Term Care Insurance specialist can provide accurate quotes from all the top companies, along with professional recommendations.
Premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies. Shopping with a specialist will save you money and give you peace of mind.
Money is important, but remember, long-term care will also impact your family. You might want to protect your 401(k) and other savings from the rising cost of long-term care, but when you have a policy in place, your family can concentrate on being family instead of becoming your caregiver.
Premiums are less expensive when you are younger and enjoy good health - How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost?
Aging is happening every day. Your health, body, and mind will change with age. Make sure to consider your options when you still have options to consider.
About the Author
An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.
Contributor since August 21st, 2017
Despite what you might think, Long-Term Care Insurance is very affordable. These policies are custom designed. Premiums can vary over 100% between companies for the exact same coverage. This is why you seek the assistance of a Long-Term Care Insurance specialist.
The cost of long-term health care is rapidly increasing. Medical science allows us to live longer, but that also increases the need for help with daily living activities or supervision due to dementia.
Medicare and health insurance pay little or nothing toward the cost of long-term health care. The financial repercussions may alter your way of life and legacy. It's important to consider how the costs and burdens of aging will affect your family.
Family caregivers are ill-equipped and unprepared for the job as your future caregiver. You probably don't want to make your adult children and their families bear the burden of being your future caregiver. Long-Term Care Insurance is an affordable solution for many families.
Professional care is expensive, be it in-home care or in a long-term care facility. Therefore being prepared is vital to any retirement plan. Most people get coverage in their 50s to take advantage of lower costs and more options.
Locate a Reliable and Experienced LTC Expert
Make sure to get the proper kind of professional assistance. A knowledgeable Long-Term Care Insurance specialist can assist you in navigating the many options from all the top insurance companies. Premiums vary over 100% between insurance companies, and each company has its own underwriting rules.
A general insurance agent or financial advisor lacks this expertise.
Have Questions About Long-Term Care Planning?
You probably have questions about long-term health care planning, and LTC NEWS provides the answers for many of the most asked questions here - Frequently Asked Questions. Find all the tools and resources that are available on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning.
The cost of long-term health care is exploding. This calculator is an outstanding tool whether you are helping someone find care today or you are planning for yourself for the decades ahead.
Find the current and future cost of long-term health care where you live - LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator.
Loved Ones Need Help Now?
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.
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.
If your parent or parents need help, be sure to get them quality care. LTC NEWS can help. We have put together several comprehensive guides to help you in your process.
Start by reading our four guides -
The Benefits of Today's Reverse Mortgages
Some people have a large portion of their savings in their homes. With the help of reverse mortgages, you can find ways to pay for quality in-home care, pay for LTC Insurance, and even assist with cash flow during retirement.
Yes, today's reverse mortgages may be the perfect way to pay for a Long-Term Care Insurance policy or even cover the cost of in-home care if you or a loved one is currently in need.
Asking an expert with your questions will help you learn more. Mike Banner, a columnist for LTC NEWS and the host of the television program "62 Who Knew," will respond to your inquiries about long-term care, reverse mortgages, aging, and health.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
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