Understanding Long-Term Care and LTC Insurance
Long-term care helps people with disabling diseases, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses, along with developmental disabilities.
What are some common long-term care services?
LTC provides "custodial care" services to assist patients perform tasks such as eating, dressing, bathing, getting in and out of bed, and using the bathroom. These tasks are known as "activities of daily living."
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Custodial care also includes help with "instrumental activities of daily living" — including taking medication regularly, preparing meals, grocery shopping, and housework.
These services are frequently provided in nursing homes or in assisted living facilities. Patients can also get custodial care in their own home from a nurse or other health professional.
The Costs of Long-Term Care
According to health care experts and researchers, most people are unaware of the high costs of long-term care. If you're not prepared for the costs of LTC, they could drain your savings very quickly.
So what does LTC cost?
- $17 to $25 an hour for in-home custodial care from a health professional.
- An average of $61 per day in an adult day care center.
- Over $6,000 a month for a private room in a nursing home.
- $2,700 per month for a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility.
All together, long-term care can cost over $70,000 a year. That can put a serious dent in any savings account.
Will I Need Long-Term Care?
There are a surprising number of people who eventually need some form of long-term care during their lives.
Roughly 70% of Americans older than 65 years old will eventually need some kind of long-term health care service. Roughly half of those will need long-term care for 5 years or longer.
Most long-term care patients are senior citizens, but there are almost 4 million people under 65 years old who need LTC, too.
Anyone of any age may need long-term care if they have a disability or have suffered a serious injury.
Do I Need Long-Term Care Insurance?
Here's something many people don’t realize: Long-term care is not covered by most health plans.
A majority of Americans also believe Medicare will cover their nursing home and assisted living costs, along with the fees for custodial care. But Medicare or Medicare Supplement doesn't pay for long-term care services or extended stays in a nursing home.
With long-term care insurance, you can make sure you're always protected from these very high costs.
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