The High Cost of Long Term Care
Many people are confused about long term care, what it is, and what is covered by insurance. A sad fact in America is the high cost of nursing and custodial care. When a loved one must spend time in a skilled nursing facility, or opts for in-home custodial care, the cost of care is grossly underestimated. Long term care planning awareness in early adulthood can help families prepare for the inevitable. Many assumptions are made about long term care, what it means, and how to pay for it. Long-term care services include help with everyday tasks, “custodial” care, or “activities of daily living”. Whether the custodial care is needed for a short term recuperative period or for terminal conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, you need the advice of a professional so you can prepare. The PBI Staff are experts in all aspects of Medical Insurance and Medicare Benefits and we can assist you with your questions about Long-Term Care Insurance.
A 2016 poll conducted by the The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago explored long term care planning. Apparently the majority of Americans age 40 and older lack confidence that they will be able to pay for long-term care, and few expect their current insurance to cover the costs of ongoing living assistance. Instead, many older adults expect to turn to Medicare or Social Security to support their care as they age, although these programs generally do not cover most long-term care services or costs. Additionally, support is high for policies that help Americans save for long-term care and for those that defray the costs of caregiving.
Custodial services are not covered by health insurance or Medicare. While Medicaid provides long-term services to those with chronic disabling conditions, it is only available for individuals who meet income and other eligibility requirements. Paying for custodial care services out-of-pocket is out of reach for the average person. According to the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Office of Disability, “While most people with LTSS needs will spend relatively little on their care, about one in six (17%) will spend at least $100,000 out-of-pocket for future LTSS.” In fact, in Connecticut, the 2017 average monthly cost for home care is $4,000 and residing in a nursing facility (semi-private room) is more than $7,000. (source: https://www.genworth.com/about-us/industry-expertise/cost-of-care.html).
The senior population is expected to nearly double by 2040. The majority of these seniors will require some form of long-term care – help with activities such as cooking, bathing, or remembering to take medicine – that can be provided in a home or institutional setting. How to finance the provision of high-quality services so that the costs are manageable for families and governments will remain a primary challenge. You may have a loved one who is in need of long-term care, now or in the near future. Talk to the experts at PBI Insurance and get your questions answered at 860-233-1171.