November marks Long Term Care Awareness Month. Long term care insurance helps individuals cover the expenses of extended hospital stays or moving into assisted living.
With that in mind, Retirement Media Inc. identified the Top 10 Little-Known Facts About Long Term Care Insurance:
- Most people associate long-term care insurance exclusively with the elderly. But over 1/3 of long-term care policies are purchased by someone under the age of 65. This coverage is important for all ages.
- Long-term care insurance was originally known as nursing home insurance. But today, it can cover everything from home health care to assisted living and even adult day care.
- Many health insurance policies do not offer coverage for nursing home stays or assisted living. In addition, they won’t pay for assistive equipment or home modifications and adaptations (such as making your home wheelchair-accessible.
- Approximately 60% of people over age 65 will require some sort of extended-stay or long-term care in their lifetimes.
- About 40% of people currently receiving long-term care in the United States are between the ages of 18 and 64.
- It pays to buy long-term care insurance earlier in life. The costs are usually more economical, plus once a change in health occurs, coverage may not be available.
- Many Americans mistakenly believe that Medicare covers all of their long-term care needs. However, most Medicare coverage plans are limited and still require large, out-of-pocket expenditures.
- According to Medicare.gov, Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) only covers skilled nursing care in a skilled nursing facility “under certain conditions for a limited time.” In many case, the ‘conditions’ are following a hospital stay of greater than three days, and ‘a limited time’ is usually 20 days. Starting on the 21st day, you are responsible for at least a portion of the costs.
- If you leave the skilled nursing facility for more than 30 days, you require another extended hospital stay (again, generally 3+ days as an inpatient) to re-qualify for additional care.
- If your doctor or healthcare provider recommends additional services, or more frequent service than Medicare provides, those expenses will have to be paid entirely out of pocket.
Take advantage of this National Long Term Care Awareness Month to educate yourself about the benefits of long-term care insurance, and afford yourself peace of mind for the holiday season and beyond.