Long Term Care Insurance: The Fundamentals
Who uses long term care insurance and how is it funded?
The term long term care insurance refers to a broad set of benefits designed to alleviate the high cost of caring for an individual. These are typically individuals who are unable to care for themselves due to a physical, cognitive, or chronic health condition that continues for a period of time. Their care needs may result from an underlying condition, a disabling condition, aging or a condition present at birth, but the end result is the same. They need assistance with the daily activities of living regardless of their condition.
The Impact of Informal Long Term Care is Devastating
Only 38% of women age 75 or older still have a spouse to provide care for them if they need long term care (according to the 2011 Sourcebook for Long-Term Care Insurance Information, AALTCI). The haphazard ‘solution’ many elderly are forced to implement – informal long term care – is physically and financially demanding on the women in their lives. In fact, 3 out of 4 family care providers are women (wives, daughters, daughters-in-law, etc.), and the effects are devastating:
- Much higher incidence of depression and heart disease among women long term caregivers
- Lost wages, reduced social security and pension benefits result in significant financial impact
Long term care is a double whammy for many women. In addition to being the expected caregivers, they are also twice as likely to need to file a long term care insurance claim.
Financing Long Term Care Insurance
Estimates indicate that only a small portion of a senior’s long term care needs can be publicly funded through Medicare. Seniors below the poverty level can receive additional funding help through Medicaid services but both publicly funded options place significant restrictions on where the long term care is performed and the quality of the care available.
The best option for people who want to protect the money they worked hard to save and to live their life as independently as possible is to invest in long term care insurance.
The value of long term care insurance is evident when you consider the following:
- Insurance benefits will support independent living at home or in an assisted care facility – it’s your choice.
- It also protects your loved ones from the financial burden of paying for your daily care and/or losing income while they manage your care themselves. /li>
- Ultimately, long term care insurance gives you the freedom of options just when you may need them the most.
When you’re ready to discuss your long term care insurance needs, get in touch with an agent from The Nowell Agency who will review your situation and explain your options.