Long Term Care
The most important family coverage for America
Long Term Care is one of the least understood insurance coverages in America and one of the most important to families. Most people believe that long term care is a type of coverage for older Americans who are 65 and older; however, anyone may need long term care at any time during their life!
In these United States, we have come to think that long term care is a coverage provided by Medicare. Medicare does not cover long term care needs – period! There is some custodial care provided by Medicare for 100 days after an accident or illness that requires a hospital stay. However, there is no care provided by Medicare. Medicare provides for acute care which is skilled and semi-skilled health care.
What is Long Term Care? Long term care is insurance offered by an insurance company, not the government. Long term care policies are, for the most part, very similar with all the different companies that offer them. This type of insurance provides funds to pay for care that is considered custodial care in nature. For the most part, it is unskilled care that one needs after an illness or accident that is not provided by health insurance (semi-skilled care may also be covered). This is the type of care you would need after you were released from the hospital. This may be at home, a nursing home, or a convalescent care center.
Long term care is triggered when a person cannot perform 2 out of 5 activities of daily living. Activities of daily living that most companies use are bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring. A hospital stay with most carriers is not a requirement.
Why do we need this coverage? Because it’s very expensive to provide care for one who cannot do for themselves. Families have been financially and emotionally devastated providing long term care for a loved one. Over time the burden is enormous in many ways the least being financial. Don’t make the mistake thinking the government will take care of this need. When one receives government assistance, it is through the Medicaid program which is a welfare program. To receive these benefits, you must spend your assets down to an extreme poverty level.
If you would like to discuss your family’s long term care needs with me, feel free to give me a call.
John Pickard, Certified Financial Planner