At one time or another, we may find ourselves caring for our loved ones when they need us the most. Maybe an accident or an illness has left someone requiring special attention and assistance. First Commonwealth Advisors offers Long-Term Care insurance solutions to help during these times.
What Is Long-Term Care?
Long-Term Care is the type of care received either at home or in a facility, when someone needs assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, etc.) due to an accident, an illness or advancing age. Long-Term Care is usually divided into three types:
- Skilled care – continuous "around-the-clock" care designed to treat a medical condition. This care is ordered by a physician and performed by skilled medical personnel, such as registered nurses or professional therapists. A treatment plan is established.
- Intermediate care – intermittent nursing and rehabilitative care provided by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse's aides under the supervision of a physician.
- Custodial care – care designed to assist one perform the activities of daily living (such as bathing, eating, and dressing). It can be provided by someone without professional medical skills but is supervised by a physician.
Why Buy Long Term Care Insurance?
You may never need long-term care, though you’ll want to be prepared in case you do because long-term care can be very expensive. Medicaid does cover some of the costs of long-term care, but it has strict financial eligibility requirements – you would have to use up a large portion of your life savings to become eligible for it. And since HMOs, Medicare, and Medigap don’t pay for most long-term care expenses, you're going to need to find alternative ways to pay for long-term care. One option you have is to purchase a long term care insurance policy.
Long-term care insurance is designed to pay for the cost of your care in a variety of settings, including a nursing home if you can no longer care for yourself. Long-term care policies vary widely in their coverages, limitations, and exclusions. A good policy covers the costs of round-the-clock nursing home care, including that given at custodial, intermediate, and skilled levels. The policy may also cover any expenses associated with assisted-living residences provided that the facility is state certified. Adult day-care centers are often covered as well, as is respite care, which is the temporary professional care while your regular caregiver is on vacation. Policies will also pay for at-home care provided by registered nurses; respiratory therapists; physical, occupational, or speech therapists; registered dietitians; or licensed social workers.
Insurance companies will require that you meet certain conditions (such as the inability to perform activities of daily living by yourself) before they issue the benefits. Companies will also issue benefits because of cognitive loss as a result of Alzheimer’s disease, senility, and other forms of dementia. All of these requirements are explained in the policies.
Some life insurance issuers offer life insurance and annuities with a long-term care rider available for an additional charge. If you buy this type of policy, you can pay the premium in a single lump sum or by making periodic payments. In any case, the policy provides you with a death benefit that you can also use to pay for long-term care related expenses, should you incur them.
The amount of death benefit and long-term care allowance is based on your age, gender, and health at the time you buy the policy. The appeal of this combination policy lies in the fact that either you'll use the policy to pay for long-term care expenses or your beneficiaries will receive the insurance proceeds at your death. In either case, someone will benefit from the premiums you pay.
To learn more about Long-Term Care, please call an Insurance Specialist toll free at 855-ASK-4-FCA.