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Long Term Care

Today in America, 12.8 million people of all ages need a type of assistance known as long term care (LTC).

Almost 40% of those who need help with everyday activities are working age adults. At home and in the workplace, long term care issues affect everyone.

Long Term Care is the help you may need if you are unable to care for yourself because of a prolonged illness or disability. Traditionally, this has meant nursing home care. In fact, the term now refers to virtually all health care that takes place outside of a hospital. It applies to anyone- young or old, male or female. It can be a variety of private and semi-private care situations and services, including in home care, assisted living, adult residential care, and nursing homes. Long term care insurance covers temporary and permanent rehabilitation and long term care needs due to physical or mental illness and injury.

What does long term care cost and who pays for it?

The national average cost for private nursing home care is $40,000 to $50,000 per year and can even go as high as $75,000. The average stay in a nursing home is 2 1/2 years. This could easily cost $200,000 or more. The bottom line is this: you may survive an illness or disability requiring long term care, but will your savings?

Payment methods can include your personal savings and income, Veterans' Administration funds, private insurance, Medicaid (welfare benefits), or limited Medicare. Medigap, Medicare, or regular health insurance covers less than two percent of long term care costs.

When is the best time to buy Long Term Care Insurance?

Waiting to buy can be very costly. Your age and good health can help you qualify for the lowest rates. For example, a good, long term care policy purchased at age 45 will cost about $300 a year. At age 55, it will cost about $600, and at age 65, about $1200. Let's assume your need for long term care occurs at age 85. If you buy a policy at age 45, you will pay a total of $12,000 in premiums during your lifetime. The same policy purchased at age 65 would cost $24,000.

Sometimes the need for long term care occurs at a much younger age. Without insurance protection, what will your quality of life be like once you've out lived your assets?