Long-Term Care Insurance
It comes as a shock to many families to learn that neither Medicare nor their private health insurance will pay for long-term nursing-home or in-home care. Yet, without some assistance many families are not able to care for their loved ones at home. Medicaid will sometimes pay for long-term nursing home care but the care recipient must first spend down his or her own assets. Even then, relying on Medicaid often means that one ends up sharing a room or going to a facility that is miles from home.
We interviewed Phyllis Shelton, resident of LTC Consultants, a Nashville-based company that specializes in long-term care insurance training and marketing material.
What are the chances a given individual will need long-term care?
But what if I pay premiums on long-term care insurance and never need it?
So why do so few people have long-term care insurance?
First of all, it's the opposite of "nursing home insurance." Long-term care insurance can help you keep your independence and stay out of nursing homes. It will pay for home health care, adult day care and other services that can enable you to live independently and with dignity.
The other big myth about long-term care insurance is that it's just for old people. In fact, 40 percent of those who need long-term care are in the 18-to-64 range -- people like Christopher Reeves and Michael J. Fox. If we're lucky, we may need a few months or a few years of chronic care when we're really, really old. If we're unlucky and we're injured in an accident or we come down with a chronic disease, we may need it for a lifetime.
Long-term care insurance has a reputation of being complicated
How it all works along with a quick guide for customizing a plan for yourself is found in Chapter 2 of my book, Long-Term Care: Your Financial Planning Guide.
More about long-term care planning (outside links) ...