Covering the Cost of Long-Term Care
You’ve worked for a long time to make sure that you and your family are financially protected. Additionally, you’ve done what you can to prepare for any surprises that the future might bring you. But, even the most well-thought-out strategy might not be enough to prepare you for the potential unexpected cost of long-term care.
With Americans living longer than ever, most of us will long-term care in some form: Basic, everyday tasks get more difficult as you age. But, you can’t be sure whether or not you’ll need it, or for how long. Today, we’ll walk you through some statistics related to long-term care, and a few different ways of covering its cost.
Long-Term Care Statistics
The duration and level of long-term care vary from person to person. Additionally, your needs are likely to change over time. Here are some statistics that you should consider related to long-term care:
- Someone aged 65 right now has nearly a 70% chance of needing it in some fort
- Women, typically, need it for longer than men: Men on average need 2.2 years, while women on average need 3.7 years
- 20% of people turning 65 right now will need it for longer than 5 years
The Cost of Long-Term Care?
It’s important that you know the impact that just a few years of long-term care can have financially. Here are some statistics related to cost:
- The average cost of one year in a private, Medicare-certified long-term nursing home is around $107,000
- The average cost for one year in an assisted living facility is around $57,000
- The cost of one year of in-home care, 40 hours of help per-week, is $50,918
Learning Your Options
There are several different options out there to cover the cost of long-term care. Below are just some. Before you make a decision, make sure you understand your options fully. Additionally, make sure you’ve talked to the people you trust about it: Your family, your doctor or other health provider, et cetera.
Some of your options include:
Medicaid may cover a number of services, including:
- Home care, such as cooking, cleaning, and help with other basic daily activities
- Home health services, such as physical therapy or nursing care
- Transportation to medical care
- Respite care and hospice
- Case management
These services may also be available through other programs. For example, Area Agency on Aging, or Medicare. You should also know, Medicaid programs vary from state to state. Medicaid may offer more services in your specific state. Call your Medicaid professional for more information.
It’s important to note how Medicare works. Medicare may cover a maximum of 100 days of services after a hospital stay. Coverage is designed to assist people during short-term recovery, and doesn’t include personal care or supervision services.
Subsidized senior Housing
There are state and federal programs to help pay for housing for some seniors with low to moderate incomes. Some of these housing programs also offer help with meals. Additionally, they potentially offer assistance with things like housekeeping, shopping, and doing laundry. Residents usually live in their own apartments, and rent payments are based on a certain percentage of the person’s income.
Group Living Arrangements
Residential care communities, also known as personal care homes, and assisted living communities, are examples of group living arrangements. The benefit of group living arrangements is that they can help you with some of the activities of daily life that you might otherwise have trouble with as you get older. Whether they offer nursing services or not, or if they help with medications, varies from state to state. In most instances, residents of these communities pay a regular monthly rent and additional fees dependent on the type of personal care and services they get.
Hospice and Respite Care
Hospice is a program of care and support for people with terminal illnesses. The focus is on helping the terminally ill live more comfortably. Respite care, meanwhile, is a very short inpatient stay given to a hospice patient, so that their usual caregiver can rest.
Program of All-Inclusive Care For the Elderly
PACE (Program of all-inclusive care for the elderly) is a Medicare or Medicaid program that helps people meet healthcare needs in a community.
For more information and resources to help you and your family plan for the possibility of needing long-term care in the future, you can visit LongTermCare.gov.
Can You Pay For Long-Term Care Using an IUL?
Do you currently have a life insurance policy in place? You may not realize it, but some types of life insurance can actually be used to cover certain costs while you’re still alive. Purchasing an IUL (indexed universal life) insurance policy can be a way to save money for unexpected costs, including covering long-term care.
There are a number of benefits to this method. Firstly, a very appealing feature of an IUL is that it offers potentially tax-free income. Furthermore, you can access the money at any time, there is no contribution limit, and the money is unaffected in the event of a stock market downturn.
Purchasing an IUL is a great way to prepare for this possibility, as even if you don’t end up needing long-term care, it can be used to cover other unexpected expenses in the future instead.
Purchasing IUL insurance and selecting a long-term care rider is one of several ways of paying for the cost of long-term care. Contact us to learn more about this potential strategy. We’re here to help you stay protected.
(Sources include Alc.gov, medicare.gov, and AARP.)