What is Long-Term Care?

Who Pays for Long-Term Care?

Long-term care is the only insurance designed to pay for long-term care. Without it, you can expect to pay for most, if not all of the costs yourself. These expenses can rapidly eat up years of savings, or even require that you sell your assets to pay for care.

Planning for potential long-term care costs now can help ensure you have options available later in life, or when otherwise needed. Rather than "self insuring" (hoping you will have enough money invested to pay for care when you need it - and then running the risk of not having saved enough), purchasing long-term care insurance is the least expensive way of preparing for your long-term care needs.

To learn more about your options, understand how protection works, and find out how to design a policy that meets you and your family's needs, click here to contact one of our advisors for a personal consultation.

What about my health insurance?

Health insurance plans are designed to pay for skilled medically needed care and a limited amount of short-term intermediate care. They are NOT designed to pay for custodial long-term care to assist you with every day activities of daily living or ADLs (eating, bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, dealing with incontinence, or moving about).

All health care is actually referred to as either:

  • Skilled Care - medically needed
  • Intermediate Care - short term rehabilitation
  • Custodial Care - help with ADL's, long-term care

Click here to see what traditional health insurance pays for

What about disability insurance?

Disability insurance provides a benefit when you are unable to work due to an accident or illness. Disability policies replace lost income when you cannot work, but will NOT pay for costs for long-term care.

What about Medicare?

Medicare is the government program that provides your medical insurance when you reach age 65. Similar to the health insurance you have while working, it pays pay for skilled medically needed care and a limited amount of short-term intermediate care. Medicare will pay for up to 100 days care in a long-term care facility provided it is for skilled care, that it it follows a three day stay at a hospital, and that the care is received in a Medicare-approved facility.

What about Medicaid?

Medicaid, on the other hand, is a public welfare program that provides care for people who meet federal eligibility guidelines. Upper and middle-income people must first spend their savings and assets down to limits set by the state they live in to qualify for Medicaid benefits.

In addition, people receiving Medicaid assistance don't usually have the preferable choices of receiving long-term care at home care or an assisted living facility. This means you may be transferred to a nursing home far away from your own home or family, at a facility that may not provide the level of care you would prefer.

Click here to see Medicaid spend down eligibility requirements for your state