According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some kind of care service.1 But if you're counting on the government to cover the costs, you might be in for a rude awakening.
What is your need for Long-Term Care Insurance?|
UCU provides access to a website that reviews the questions you have about Long-Term Care Insurance. Quick clicks to important information gets you started.
Long-Term Care Insurance Web site
Video about Long-Term Care Insurance
You can also request a representative contact you for more information or to set up an appointment: 800-356-2644 X1526
While the Medicare and Medicaid programs were designed as safety nets for the country's elderly and poor, the long-term care coverage they provide can be more limited and harder-to-get than you might expect. And, with the average cost of nursing home care with a private rooom at over $87,000 a year,2 it makes sense to have a plan to cover your long-term care expenses before you actually need it.
Medicare is designed to only pay for limited levels of skilled nursing facility or home health care, and a variety of conditions must be met to trigger coverage. Medicare is not designed to cover assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom-help which could mean the difference between being able to stay in your own home and needing to move to an assisted living or nursing home environment.
Medicare is designed to cover health care expenses for people over age 65 and those younger who have certain medical conditions and disabilities. It covers medically necessary care with a focus on medical acute care and short-term services for conditions that are expected to improve.
And, even if you do require medically necessary care that's covered by Medicare, your provider options will be limited to their list of designated Skilled Care Facilities-which could be miles away from your family and friends and might not include the facility you would have chosen.
This joint state and federal program will pay for a variety of health services and nursing home care, but it is only available to those who have qualified under federal income requirements, and it offers a limited choice of providers. If you've transferred assets in the hopes of meeting Medicaid financial requirements, be aware that the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 put new policies into place designed to prevent people who had transferred assets-even for valid purposes-from receiving Medicaid coverage.
Private long-term care funding
You do have other options for paying for long-term care, including paying out of your private assets and long-term care insurance. If you have extremely substantial resources the first option might make sense for you: you'll only have to fund the care if you need it and your hefty asset base means the cost won't be a financial burden. But given that the average actual nursing home stay is over two years,3 which adds up to a hefty bill at current rates, paying out of pocket is not a practical choice for many. That's why a growing number of people are looking to long-term care insurance. This product can fund a variety of long-term care services at your home, and in the assisted living and nursing home environments. This insurance can be an excellent way to protect your financial assets, maintain your independence, and help assure peace of mind for yourself and your family.
Need help reviewing your long-term care coverage options?
For more information about long term care insurance that is available as a member of University Credit Union, call toll-free 800-356-2644 X1526 or go online to the Long Term Care Insurance Web site.
1 National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.longtermcare.gov, November 19, 2008.
2 The MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home & Assisted Living Costs, says that the annual cost for a private room in 2011 is $87,235 or $230 daily.
3 The MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home & Assisted Living Costs, October 2009.