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Debunking Long-Term Care Insurance Myths

There is a 70% chance that individuals, 65-years-old or older will need access to long-term care. Add to that, the fact that individuals over the age of 65 are more prone to falls than other age groups and you can understand the reasons why.

Long-terms care can provided benefits in the most crucial of times...

As of 2012, the cost of a full time nursing home room is a staggering $82,000 a year. In home care with a licensed home health aide would total more than $55,000 annually. Statistics like these points to the need and benefit of purchasing long term care insurance for the time when you’re unable to remain in your home.

Insurance agents that sell long term care policies hear myths about why individuals feel they don’t need to purchase a long term care policy, including:

  • My savings and my spouse will take care of me. Individuals who have worked and saved their entire lives may very well have a large nest egg. That savings, however, can be very quickly depleted in the event of an illness or injury. Many individuals are in denial and believe, “It will never happen to me,” but the statistics don’t bear it out. If you, or your spouse, develop Alzheimer’s disease or became physically disabled the care needed would be more than one spouse alone could provide. While it is possible to age in place as long as the home has been age-proofed and equipped with a home medical alert system, there may come a time when assisted living is necessary. The beauty of many medical alert devices is that they can move to the assisted living facility with the individual as an added layer of protection.
  • Medicare will cover my bills. Access to Medicare is one of the biggest misconceptions that individuals have. Health insurance, which includes Medicare, will pay for hospital and medical bills, but won’t cover the costs of custodial care for a long-term disability or illness. Custodial care includes helping the individual get dressed, bathing, eating, taking medications, undertaking physical or occupational therapy. Medicaid is available for individuals with long-term health care expenses, but this is accessible only after the individuals have depleted their assets and savings.
  • Long-term care insurance is for the elderly. This is a common misconception because the idea of aging and needing long term care is a long way off. Individuals that develop conditions such as high blood pressure, heart conditions or diabetes may find themselves ineligible for coverage under a long-term care policy. Long-term care insurance should be researched as individuals reach age 50.
  • Long-term care insurance is only needed if I go into a nursing home. While it’s true that many seniors require nursing home care, a long-term care policy can be used to pay for in home care as well.
  • The policy’s elimination period will count as the waiting period. Many insurance policies have an elimination period, sometimes 90 days, during which the policy will not pay for services. A long-term care elimination policy begins after you’ve met the terms for the policy and have paid your premium. Many policy providers will not cover an individual who cannot perform two out of these six “daily living activities: bathing, eating, dressing, using the restroom, the ability to get out of or into a bed or chair or wheelchair without assistance, maintaining continence.

Long-term care insurance provides coverage not only for nursing home or in home health care but also provides a measure of financial security.