Long-term care is a type of personal care service that you might need if you have a physical illness, disability, or cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease, that affects your ability to do everyday activities.
Long-term care is different from traditional medical care. Traditional medical care tries to treat or cure illnesses. Long-term care usually won’t improve your medical condition, but it will help you maintain your current lifestyle. It helps with normal daily activities, such as eating, getting around, and bathing. It can also help if you need supervision, protection, or reminders to take medicines or perform other activities.
You can get long-term care services at your own home or in a hospice, adult day care center, nursing home, or assisted living facility.
There are two types of long-term care services
- Skilled care is for conditions that require a medical professional, such as a nurse or a therapist. It’s usually provided in a nursing home or other care center.
- Personal care (sometimes called custodial care) helps you do normal activities. You can get personal care in your home or in a skilled facility.
The Cost of Long-Term Care
Long-term care can be expensive. The cost depends on the amount and type of care you need, where you receive it, and what type of medical professional provides it.
Paying for Long-Term Care
People pay for long-term care in a variety of ways, including
- Long-term care insurance policy
- With your own money.
Medicaid is a state and federal assistance program that pays most long-term care expenses for eligible people with low incomes. To qualify for Medicaid, you must meet income and asset guidelines.
Medicare may pay some long-term care costs. Medicare is a federal program that pays for health care for people over age 65 and for people under age 65 with disabilities. It covers the cost of some skilled care in nursing homes or possibly in your home. Medicare might also pay for some nonmedical care in your home if you are receiving skilled care.
Deciding Whether Long-Term Care Insurance Is Right for You
Long-term care insurance helps protect your assets against the high cost of extended long-term care. Long-term care insurance usually only makes sense if you have more to protect than a house, car, and a small amount of cash.
Long-term care insurance is probably not a good idea if you have trouble stretching your income to pay for utilities, food, or medicine. You might have to pay for your care out of pocket until you spend down your assets enough to qualify for Medicaid.
To decide whether long-term care insurance is right for you, consider your personal risk factors, assets, income, and estimated costs.
Personal ‘Risk Factors’
The following factors might affect your likelihood of needing long-term care:
- Life expectancy. The longer you live, the more likely you will need long-term care. Consider whether your family has a tendency for long life expectancy.
- Gender. Women might need long-term care insurance more than men because they generally live longer.
- Your family situation. If you have a spouse, adult children, or other family members who can care for you at home, you might not need long-term care services.
- Family health history. You may have a greater need for long-term care if chronic or debilitating health conditions run in your family.
Long-term care is typically less expensive if you buy it when you’re younger. Consider talking to a trusted financial adviser for help deciding whether long-term care insurance meets your needs.
We invite you to contact us today to learn more about long term care insurance through Foy Insurance. You may fill out the form on the right to be contacted by one of our Foy Insurance professionals, or give us a call to speak now. We look forward to serving you.