October is Long-Term Care Planning Month
Do you have a plan in place?
This month (and any month) seniors are encouraged, and those acting on their behalf, to develop a plan to help meet the high costs of long-term care. For the most part, a majority of long-term care costs are not covered by most health insurance plans or Medicare. That is where planning for Long-Term Care becomes so important. We encourage families to explore long-term care planning options.
There are of course advantages to planning ahead before the need arises. By preparing for the future, you can make choices for how and where you wish to spend your later years. It also removes the burden from adult children and others to make choices for others, a task not often envied by most.
Currently, Medicare only covers medical and rehabilitative care (doctors and nurses) and does not cover non-medical care including help with activities of daily living (ADLs). Medicaid will cover the cost of long-term care but only after an individual has depleted all their assets, and the choice of Medicaid facilities or Medicaid in-home services are very limited.
What is Long-Term Care?
Long-term care is a range of services and supports residents may need to meet their personal care needs. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as:
- Using the toilet
- Transferring (to or from bed or chair)
- Caring for incontinence
Why Plan Ahead for Long-Term Care?
- Long term care is a leading cause of catastrophic out-of-pocket health care costs for the elderly and their adult children.
- By planning ahead, seniors will increase the time they have for saving up sufficient money to get the help they want when they need it.
- By planning ahead when senior are in relatively good health they greatly increase the chances for qualifying for Long-Term Care Insurance which will cover most, if not all, of their non-medical long-term care costs.
There are a number of ways to get started in planning. Many insurance companies
Offer Long Term-Care insurance. Also here are a couple of very helpful sites to begin navigating this process https://www.longtermcarelink.net and http://longtermcare.gov
As you age, you can feel better knowing there are steps you can take to ensure that your wishes, both medical and financial, are carried out the way you want them. We encourage you to start this month, in taking a look at your future. We are here to help if you have any questions.