Long-term care is coverage you need for chronic illness that will likely not improve.  We often associate long term care with the care we need as we age.  Long Term Care can be assistance in your home, a part time adult day care or skilled nursing care. As we age, we rarely go from acutely sick to perfectly well in a day or two. While Medicare will cover the acutely sick part, it is not designed for long term coverage beyond the initial recovery period. It is important to remember that LongTerm Care is not limited to the elderly.  Accidents and unexpected illnesses can happen at any time, and fate does not take one’s age into account.  Many people underestimate the risk of needing Long Term Care at an earlier age.

The Hard Questions We Need To Ask Ourselves

If you were injured or became unexpectedly ill tomorrow, how would you answer the following questions: 

    • What care would I need beyond medical attention (home modifications, household financial management, rides to appointments, grocery shopping and meal prep, etc…)? 
    • Who would provide this care? 
    • Where would I receive this care? 
    • How would I pay for it? 

    Answering these first 3 questions can be overwhelming and emotionally stressful before even getting to the financial part.  Luckily, there are services out there that can help you with this.  One such service, which is local to me, is I-CARE Inc. About Us – I-CARE ( Their main service is to provide nursing care, personal care, and companion care for seniors and clients of all ages. I-CARE  also has several added benefits including expert consulting services, home modifications, and in-home salon & spa services for clients that are homebound. 

    This last question is a big one. Many people mistakenly believe that their health insurance or Medicare will pay for Long Term Care. But, health insurance is designed to pay expenses for medical costs such as doctor’s visits, tests, medicines, surgery, or other specific services does not pay the extra cost of Long Term Care. Medicare is designed to provide health insurance for people over age 65 and pays only 4% of Long-Term Care costs annually. And Medicaid, which is the government welfare program, will only kick in once a person is considered destitute.  Individuals or their families typically carry the burden of Long-Term Care expenses. Unfortunately, most individuals will deplete their assets to poverty level before qualifying for Medicaid. The out-of-pocket cost for long term care can range dramatically, depending on the level of care you need. That means your retirement nest egg could be gobbled up by just one health crisis requiring long term care. Many people mistakenly believe that their health insurance or Medicare will pay for Long Term Care. Currently, this is not the case; therefore, a Long-Term Care Insurance policy might be an option for your financial plan.  

    Address These Questions Now

    We need to think about long-term care now. The younger and healthier you are when you apply, the less expensive the coverage is likely to be. Some insurance companies offer hybrid long-term care/life insurance policies, or longterm care policies that can be shared by spouses. Even if you’re young, healthy and independent today, it’s a great idea to check out long term care options and see if it’s a value that makes good sense for you. You can get more information on Long Term Care Coverage in a blog of ours from last year as well:  Understanding Long-Term Care – Clover Leaf Wealth Strategies. If you need help evaluating long-term care policies that might support your financial success in retirement, let’s connect.