With the New Year right here, a lot of people will be making resolutions. New Year’s resolutions can be fun to make, but the overwhelming majority of them don’t last more than a couple of weeks, at best. In fact, by the 15th of January, almost all New Year’s resolutions will have already fallen by the wayside. That doesn’t have to be the case, though, especially if you’re planning for your financial future. If you are saving, investing, and working diligently toward your retirement, one component that easily gets overlooked is the prospect of requiring some type of long-term care in the future. This is where long-term care insurance comes into play.
What defines long-term care?
Most health insurance policies will cover “short-term care.” This would involve a few weeks in the hospital or a nursing home setting, at most. Between four and six weeks is generally the maximum for what insurance and medical professionals consider short-term care. Anything beyond a couple of months and you are getting into the realm of long-term care.
Won’t my health insurance coverage be enough?
Most health insurance policies will not cover long-term care. They have limits to how much they are going to pay out for various options, including nursing homes and hospital stays.
What if you need to go to an assisted living community? Or what if you require some type of home care for many months following an accident, stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, or other medical emergency?
What about Medicaid? At the current time, 67 is the official federally designated retirement age, which means once you are 67, you can begin applying for Medicaid and Medicare coverage. However, contrary to popular belief, Medicaid is not going to cover long-term care expenses until the individual has used up all of their available assets, which can include the equity in their house and their personal savings accounts.
Surprised? Most people are, and unfortunately, most people end up being surprised when it’s too late, when they are well into their 60s or 70s and are suddenly needing some type of long-term care.
That is why long-term care insurance is so valuable.
Long-term care insurance can cover up to three years of long-term care expenses for, what essentially comes down to your choices. While Medicaid is only going to cover nursing home care at this time in most states, you can choose whether you want in-home care, assisted living, independent living, or some other long-term care option. Of course, that all depends on the policy, the insurance provider, and other stipulations, but you can investigate that when you look into a policy.
Make one of your New Year’s resolutions the focus of looking into and beginning a long-term care insurance policy. You can start now, but even if you wait until after the holidays are over, hit the ground running on that first Monday after New Year’s Day and start finding a reliable and experienced broker or agent to discuss long-term care insurance options.