As the COVID-19 virus crisis seems to have diminished, it still plays a significant role in our lives, especially for older adults. The impact on those with chronic health problems is still a real concern, and those living in nursing homes should still be concerned.
The good news is most people don't receive long-term health care in a nursing home. Plus, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have done much better to keep the virus in check and maintain quality care.
While we think about the unfortunate deaths due to COVID-19, the consequences of the virus have added to the number of people who need long-term health care. The importance of those requiring long-term health care services to be at home - or a quality facility - is even more paramount today than ever before.
Those who own an affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policy already know they will have access to their choice of quality care either at home or at a facility of their choice. The guaranteed tax-free benefits offer them peace of mind knowing they will get quality care in their desired setting. Their families will not have to face the burden of being a caregiver.
Long-Term Care Insurance delivers on its promise giving policyholders a choice of quality care in the setting they desire. Home is where most people want to be. Advance planning is the key to enjoying a future successful retirement.
If you discuss long-term care with friends and family, you will not hear the words ''I want to go to a nursing home when I get old.'' It is fair to suggest the clear majority of people would rather stay in their own homes and would want to do anything to keep out of a nursing home if possible.
However, when Long-Term Care Insurance is discussed in articles or at the dinner table, many people think it is nursing home insurance. Nobody wants nursing home insurance. The reality is different than the truth, according to Jesse Slome, the director of the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). The AALTCI is a national consumer education and advocacy group.
People mistakenly associate Long-Term Care Insurance exclusively with skilled nursing home care.
Long-Term Care Insurance Pays for Care at Home - Not Just a Nursing Home
The AALTCI releases claimant data every year. Most Long-Term Care Insurance claims begin in the home, according to their claims analysis.
The association says 73% of all new claims in 2021 began in the home setting. This has been very stable for several years as the demand for in-home care remains the overwhelming choice of those who require care.
You buy insurance to protect against real risks and real needs. The risk of needing care in your own home is real.
American Families are Receiving Huge Benefits from LTC Insurance
The NAIC report says that since 1994 over $100 Billion in claims have been paid to American families. The NAIC study also shows those with Long-Term Care Insurance receive more paid care at home than those who don't.
The AALTCI says the major insurance companies in the industry paid over $12.3 Billion in claim benefits in 2021, helping American families address the costs and burdens resulting from extended health care.
Both the dollars paid and the number of individuals receiving benefits continues to grow as more Americans benefit from having this important protection.
Women Receive Care More Than Men
Women account for a majority of all Long-Term Care Insurance claims. Slome says planning for long-term care is crucial for women since they are more likely to require care for a more extended period of time.
Long-Term Care Insurance pays benefits in all settings. The study shows that 9% of new claims started in a nursing home, while 73% started in their own home. Assisted Living represented 18%of new claims in a study released in 2021.
Individuals want to remain in their own home when care is needed, and Long-Term Care Insurance enables them to get the care they need in the setting they prefer.
Slome, quoted in McKnight's Long-Term Care News told the website that the first policies only paid for skilled care in a nursing home. He explained the focus of the insurance companies was to pay for nursing homes. This is not the case today.
LTC Insurance Pays for Care In Many Settings
Most plans today will pay for any level of care at home, adult day care, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care. This gives the consumer, and their family, a choice of quality care in the setting they desire.
Planning for longevity has become a crucial part of retirement planning. If you are saving money in your retirement accounts (401(k), IRA, SEP, 403(b)), protecting that money from the high costs of long-term health care is prudent.
Many experts say consumers want choice. They want to decide how they will be taken care of and in what setting. They want quality care choices without either draining assets to pay for them or burdening their spouse or adult children. Long-Term Care Insurance can help you make those choices before retirement.
Most people obtain their coverage in their 50s. There are tax incentives in some situations, or you could use pre-tax money from a Health Savings Account to get reimbursed.
About the Author
An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.
Contributor since August 21st, 2017
Start considering your life after 50 and into retirement is how you will address declining health, body, and mind. As we get older, these changes create a need for long-term health care. Our families, often adult children, become default caregivers - a role they were never trained for prepared for in the first place.
Professional long-term care services are costly, and those costs are rising sharply nationwide. Being prepared for the cash flow issues of long-term care and your family's stress and anxiety of long-term care should be an important consideration as you prepare for your future retirement.
Long-Term Care Insurance is an affordable way to address the costs and burdens of aging and changing health. You will have guaranteed tax-free resources to pay for the high care costs in any setting you wish, including care at home. Your loved ones will have the time to be family instead of caregivers.
Most people obtain coverage in their 50s. Remember, Long-Term Care Insurance is medically underwritten, so you need to act before you have significant changes in your health and mobility.
Available Resources on LTC NEWS
You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist 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:
- The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
- Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
- A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Seek Professional Guidance
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.
Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.
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 peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
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.
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.
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