Long Term Care
Your golden years could be very expensive or very well thought out.
The day may come when you need long-term care. It can be very expensive and Medicare doesn’t usually supplement that cost. Without a way to pay for the expenses associated with long-term care, your savings could be at risk as well as the financial security you planned on leaving your family.
Are these familar concerns of yours? Here are some important questions and answers about Long-term Care Insurance.
How does Long-term Care Insurance cover these costs?
In simple terms, Long-term Care Insurance helps provide the dollars to pay for care that you would otherwise have to pay for yourself. Depending on the level of coverage you choose, the insurance will assume some or entire financial burden should you require care in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or if you require home health care. Having the money to help pay for care can give you and your family the control to decide what is best when it comes to providing for your care.
Long-term Care Insurance can help protect your savings and assets, preserve your independence, and help your spouse and children with your personal long-term care needs.
What is the best age to start planning?
There is no magic age that is best for planning for long-term care. What we can tell you is the time to plan may be now, while your health may not be a barrier to obtain coverage. As you age the likelihood of you getting a medical condition that would make you uninsurable can increase. A Financial Advisor
located at Suncoast Credit Union can help get you started.
Can I be turned down for coverage?
Companies selling Long-term Care Insurance will look at your current health and history before issuing a policy. Most companies ask simple questions about your health while others conduct more extensive underwriting, including examining your current medical records and asking for a statement about your health from your doctor.
Having certain conditions that are likely to require a nursing home stay in the future may prevent you from obtaining Long-term Care Insurance.
You must answer all the questions truthfully. If an insurance company later learns that you did not fully disclose your health status on your application it may rescind your policy.
What if I have a pre-existing condition?
Usually, a long-term care insurance company will issue a policy to people who have health problems. But the company may not pay benefits for conditions related to these pre-existing conditions for a certain period of time after the effective date of the policy. If the company discovers you have not disclosed a pre-existing condition on your application it may refuse to pay for treatment related to that condition and perhaps terminate your coverage.
Won’t Medicare or Medicaid cover my long-term care services?
Long-term care expenses are generally not covered by Medicare, Medicare Supplement (Medigap) or major medical insurance unless certain criteria are met. Medicare will cover the cost of some skilled nursing care in a nursing home or in your own home, but only after a hospital stay. For some people, Medicaid pays part of nursing home expenses. However in order to receive Medicaid assistance, you must meet certain income requirements. This means you may have to spend your retirement savings and use up most of your assets on healthcare before Medicaid coverage begins.
What kind of long-term care policies are available?
Long-term care insurance policies offer a variety of different benefits and coverage. Variables include benefit periods, elimination periods, maximum benefit payouts, and inflation protection. Choosing the right combination of benefits that suit your individual needs is an important part of the insurance buying process. We recommend seeking assistance from an experienced insurance professional.
Can I choose my own facility and service providers?
Most policies provide care in any licensed facility, but most insurance companies limit the types of facilities where you can receive care. Your policy should define what type of facilities will be covered.
How much coverage will I have?
The amount of coverage provided by your long-term care policy is expressed in terms of lifetime maximum benefit and is as daily or monthly benefit limits. The amount of coverage you get may also vary depending on the type of services you receive.
Most plans have a lifetime maximum benefit they will payout over the length of the policy duration. This benefit is defined either by a period of years or as a total dollar amount. A few plans offer unlimited lifetime benefits.
A Financial Advisor
located at Suncoast Credit Union can help you navigate through your various long term care insurance options.