Most LTC does not take place in nursing homes but occurs in the community (81%) - at home, in assisted living facilities or in adult day care environments.
Medicare does not typically cover these care needs unless there is a stay in a facility for transitional care after a 3 day hospital stay - PT or OT (e.g., hip or knee surgery therapy).
Therefore, it is a good idea to evaluate whether LTC Insurance may be useful to you considering your personal and family health histories.
It is also a good idea to learn more about the LTC Partnerships available now in many states. This allows individuals who purchase LTC insurance to protect assets (dollar protected for dollar spent on LTC insurance) and be able to pass those assets on to others without penalty when there is a need for Medicaid assistance in the future.
Those who should consider LTC insurance have assets of $75K or more, not eligible currently for Medicaid, can afford the premiums (less than 7% of income) and reasonably good health to qualify for a plan.
Qualifications vary by insurer and policies vary in coverage, so be sure to compare all of the details.
Adding an inflation factor is very important to preserve the value of the benefit when needed in the future.
There are waiting periods for benefits to flow (typically 90 days) and daily/monthly benefit amounts that can be tailored to the individual.
It is a good idea to compare 3 different companies, the benefits they offer and the premium amounts before purchasing a plan.
Nancy L. O'Brien, MPA-Health
Evergreen Health Advocates, Inc.
Assisting Seniors & Families Nationwide
Navigating Health Care, Housing, Medicare & Insurance
Copyright April 30, 2010