Planning for the future is often something people prefer to put off indefinitely. When you begin talking about planning for your Golden Years, one consideration you must take into account is who will take care of you if you were physically or mentally unable to do so for yourself. In this article, we will better explain what long-term care insurance is, how to decide if you need it, and what alternatives to long care insurance may be at your disposal.
What is Long-Term Care?
Long-term care involves numerous services designed to meet an individual’s medical and non-medical needs with a focus on independence and quality of life. Long-term care is often required for individuals who have a chronic illness or disability that prevents them from carrying out these daily chores. The daily activities range from bathing and dressing to medication management and physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Long-term care can take place in your home, a retirement home, nursing home, assisted living facility, adult daycare facility, or a combination of two or more of these locations. The daily tasks of long-term care are carried out by trained professionals such as a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse, or Medical Doctor.
What is Long-term Care Insurance?
Regular health insurance plans do not typically cover long-term care, and thus insurance companies have created long-term care insurance policies that help cover the cost of these services. Long-term care insurance can cover expenses related to care in your home, but also nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Long-term care insurance can also cover the cost of modifications needed to your home or vehicle. Like any other insurance policy, you can purchase long-term care insurance from a reputable insurance agency.
Do I need Long-term Care Insurance?
Paying for long-term care out of pocket can quickly wipe out your retirement fund. Additionally, waiting until you need long-term care to buy an insurance policy will not work. If you already have a chronic health condition, you will not qualify for long-term care insurance. Most individuals who purchase a long-term care insurance policy do so in their 50’s. Because of the likelihood of people over the age of 65 developing a chronic disease in their lifetime, individuals should obtain a long-term care policy. This is especially true if a medical condition runs in your family or if you don’t have a nest egg put away. While it’s not much fun thinking about needing someone to care for you, having an insurance policy in place will provide you with peace of mind that your loved ones won’t be financially burdened and that you’ll be able to protect your wealth for your beneficiaries.
What are the alternatives to Long-term Care Insurance?
While long-term care insurance is the ideal financial planning tool, there are a few alternatives to consider. Some people can effectively plan, save, and pay for long-term care out of pocket. If you are good at managing your money, then this may save you money over the long-run and can be spent on other things should you not require long-term care. Some long-term care recipients have been able to successfully use the proceeds from an annuity to pay for long-term care.
Alternatively, you may be able to use your whole life insurance policy’s living benefits or accelerated death benefits. Events that trigger the payouts for these types of benefits differ from policy to policy, so make sure to check with your life insurance provider before assuming this strategy. If you already have a whole life insurance policy, selling it to pay for long-term care is also an option.
In Tennessee the Medicaid/Choices 1 program pays for long-term care in a nursing home when the patient meets certain medical, income, and asset criteria. For information on the Medicaid/Choices 1 program for long term care, you can visit the state of Tennessee’s website or speak with someone in our facility.
Long-term Care in Jefferson County, TN
Long-term care is a core service here at Jefferson Park at Dandridge, and we have ensured that all our long-term, skilled nursing residents enjoy all the comforts of home. The Jefferson Park at Dandridge family offers every resident a personalized care plan which is designed around specific resident needs to include post-hospital care and diabetes management complete with specialized diet plans. For more information on our long-term care or other services, contact us by calling 865-397-3163.
Please note: Jefferson Park at Dandridge does not provide long-term care insurance. We recommend you speak with an insurance agent to acquire more information about various long-term care insurance policies and any terms and conditions of which you should be aware.