Long Term Care Insurance

Many individuals may be surprised to learn that ordinary health insurance will not cover most long term care expenses – and neither will Medicare.  Medicaid will help, but only after a person’s assets and resources are depleted down to welfare eligibility levels.

Long term care is generally defined as any type of extended care for people who need assistance with the activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, walking, taking medication, shopping, cooking, or driving, whether due to chronic illness or age.  Long term care may be provided in the home, community programs, adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes.

The problem then is what is the best way to pay for long term care if it is needed?  Counting on personal assets can be risky.  Just one year in a nursing home can be extraordinarily expensive.  At-home health care is not cheap either.  Retirement nest eggs could be placed in jeopardy by an accident or an illness that lasts a few years, not to mention a chronic condition that may continue for many years.

It is dangerous to assume that a spouse or family member will have the physical and financial resources to provide the needed care.  Therefore, long term care insurance is an important option, and a cost effective way for a single person, as well as married couples, to protect hard-earned assets and maintain independence.

Most importantly, long term care insurance keeps individuals in control of their health care and provides important options regarding health care providers and facilities without the financial hardship many others must face.