It is hard enough for people to get older and need long-term health care; however, it can be much more challenging for those in the LGBTQ community.
Discrimination, harassment, and abuse in long-term health care facilities based on their LGBTQ identities have been too common. An AARP survey reported that they are concerned that they will face discrimination or harassment in long-term care facilities. Plus, those in the LGBTQ community are nervous about not having adequate family and/or social supports to rely on as they age, often because they are likely to be estranged from family because of their gender identity.
An executive order signed by President Biden hopes to address some of these concerns. The order adds federal protections for LGBTQ+ long-term care residents.
President Biden has directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop and publish a "Bill of Rights for LGBTQI+ Older Adults." HHS will issue regulations to promote "nondiscrimination protections based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics, and other rights of LGBTQI+ older adults in long-term care settings."
Michael Adams, the Chief Executive Officer of SAGE, an advocacy group for LGBTQ seniors, commended President Biden for recognizing the health and welfare of LGBTQ+ elders.
SAGE applauds President Biden's Executive Order, which secures vital protections for LGBTQ+ older people and the wider LGBTQ+ community. This Executive Order builds on Congresswoman Bonamici's Ruthie and Connie LGBTQ+ Elder Americans Act and takes a critical step forward in protecting and supporting LGBTQ+ elders, who face higher rates of poverty, acute social isolation, and severe challenges accessing culturally competent services and supports.
Concern About Neglect and Abuse
The AARP survey reported that 60% said they think they might be refused or receive limited care. There are concerns about neglect, abuse, and verbal or physical harassment.
Another concern in the LGBTQ community is they are uneasy about their acceptance which can adversely impact their quality of life beyond their aging and health problem. The concern is high enough that many might feel they need to hide or deny their LGBTQ identity.
Without strong built-in family support, long-term care can be even more troublesome. There are usually no adult children that can be helpful. Partners are generally older themselves when one needs help with daily living activities or supervision due to dementia.
Many in the LGBTQ community will become dependent on professional caregivers in their homes or in a long-term care facility. Long-term health care costs are high, and the costs are rising quickly due to inflation, rising energy costs, higher labor costs, and increased demand for care.
Long-Term Health Care Costs Becoming Very Expensive
According to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator, nursing homes can cost over $100,000 a year and, in some locations, substantially more than that amount. Home caregivers, adult day care centers, and assisted living facilities, while costing less than skilled nursing home facilities, are also very expensive.
Like most people, LGBTQ people assume health insurance and Medicare will pay for this care. They don't. Medicaid will pay for long-term health care but only for those with little or no income and assets.
Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for these services, but a policy must be purchased when someone has relatively good health because they are medically underwritten. LTC Insurance is usually obtained when someone is in their 50s since premiums are much more affordable - How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost? | LTC News.
Quality care is something everyone deserves. Pre-planning can help ensure quality care and asset protection. New federal rules will help ensure dignity as well.
About the Author
Contributor since April 22nd, 2021
If you need long-term health care today, the costs will run from $3000 to $10,000 a month, depending on where you live and the amount and type of care you require. That is not cheap. However, those costs will be dramatically higher if you need care in 15, 20, or 25 years.
You need to prepare for the costs and burdens of aging. People need long-term health care due to declining health, mobility problems, memory issues, and the frailty of aging. Since health insurance and Medicare (including supplements) will only pay for a handful of days of skilled care, you will be responsible for your future long-term care.
You will either self-fund and pay for professional care out-of-pocket, your family will provide care, or a combination of both. Unless you have little or no income and assets and qualify for Medicaid, being prepared will protect assets and reduce family stress.
The solution is affordable Long-Term Care Insurance. You will have access to your choice of quality care services, including in-home care. Your loved ones will have the time to be family instead of caregivers.
Most people obtain Long-Term Care Insurance in their 50s when they can take advantage of good health and lower premiums - How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost? | 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:
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live. Plus, each state has vital state-specific information you should know - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
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.
You might have questions and LTC NEWS provides the answers for many of the most asked questions here - Frequently Asked Questions | LTC News. Find all the resources available on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Seek Professional Help Planning for Long-Term Care
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.
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.
Help for Older Parents
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 -
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.
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