Are you already covered?
Many people mistakenly believe their long-term care needs are already covered. However, long-term care assistance isn’t typically paid for by health or disability insurance. In addition, government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid aren’t designed to cover long-term costs over long periods of time. It's important to consider how you would pay for care if the need arises.
Medicare is the federal program providing hospital and medical insurance to people ages 65 or older, as well as to certain ill or disabled persons. In only certain conditions are benefits available for home health care.
Generally, Medicare may pay for up to 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility per benefit period – 100% for the first 20 days (after a three-day hospital stay, if skilled care is needed). From days 21-100, Medicare requires a co-payment.
Medicaid coverage is primarily based on income and assets, and in most states usually only covers care received in approved nursing homes. In states where Medicaid does cover home-based long-term care expenses, it is done so on a limited basis.12
Personal income and assets, including your home, may often be used to cover the cost of long-term care, which can have quite an effect on savings.
Family members may often assume the burden of care, which over time may have a significant impact on their lifestyle, personal and work commitments, and their physical and emotional well-being.
For many people, Long-term care insurance is one of the most viable options to cover the cost of care. It allows you to feel confident about your future by providing you with the means today to maintain choice, control, and independence in your later years. It is a cost-effective way for you to take responsibility for your health and long-term care decisions. And, it will help you secure your family’s future and your own quality of life by helping to protect your retirement savings.
- Medicaid coverage may vary by state.