With every birthday cake and blown out candle, every person gets another year older. The aging population of America is now depending on their children and grandchildren to provide the cost of long term care in nursing homes or retirement communities across the country.
- Approximately 70 percent of Americans over age 65 will require some type of long term care during their lifetime.
- The average cost of nursing home care in the United States is $70,445 per year. In just three years, the cost can top over $200,000.
- The average nursing home stay is 2.6 years for females and 2.3 years for males, but approximately 20 percent of individuals will be in a nursing homes for five years, that’s over $350,000.
What is Long Term Care Insurance?
The costs and burdens associated with aging can be overwhelming and expensive, causing additional stress on the family and the recipient. Many individuals may not have children or grandchildren to provide care, or they don’t want to be a burden to their family.
Long term care insurance is used to provide some relief to individuals for future long term care expenses. This option allows individuals to continue to manage their healthcare, maintain their independence and avoid relying on family members for long-term care. Long term care insurance typically covers some or all of the costs of home care, assisted living, nursing home or hospice care.
Long term care insurance (LTC or LTCI) provides coverage to more than simply the elderly. Individuals of all ages can require long term care; as a result of a serious accident, an illness, disease, or a cognitive impairment. Generally, in order to receive benefits from a long term care insurance policy you must be certified by a licensed health care professional as being unable to complete two of six defined Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) or suffer from a cognitive impairment which prevents you from being able to care for yourself.
Long term care insurance is provided in two main areas: custodial care and skilled care.
Custodial care is the care required to assist individuals who can still complete many of the daily tasks of living including: bathing, getting dressed, eating, help with medications, and incontinence. Long term care insurance can also provide assistance to individuals who suffer from a cognitive deficiency that may damage their brain function, but not their daily activity. These impairments range from Alzheimer’s disease to dementia.
Skilled care covers nursing home care which requires additional skilled services such as physical therapy, occupational, speech, and respiratory therapy or other services required to be performed by a licensed professional. An additional benefit of some long term care insurance policies is the coverage of costs associated with training an individual to provide proper care.
This would allow family members to be trained as caregivers at little to no cost to them. This can be a great opportunity for family members who prefer to provide care on a part time basis.
Long term care insurance benefits both the individual and their family. It allows for the individual to be more comfortable in their aging years, maintain some sense of independence and provide for their own care while lifting the burden off of family members and friends. A long term insurance policy is a beneficial alternative to paying for long term care expenses from personal and family savings.
As an independent agency, Braden Insurance can offer long term care insurance plans from multiple companies including Genworth Financial, MedAmerica Insurance, and John Hancock.