Long-Term Care Insurance Can Be Your Best Protection Against Financial Catastrophe In Retirement
Wishing that you will never need to use a certain type of insurance is a terrible reason not to buy it. It is true that you do not need to buy homeowners’ insurance if you rent your house, and you probably do not need flood insurance if you live on an upper floor of an apartment building. Despite this, you still need to buy health insurance even if you are healthy, and you need life insurance even if you plan to live a long time. Seniors should not let wishful thinking deter them from buying insurance, either. Even if you have outlived your original life insurance policy and if you are old enough to get Medicare coverage, you still need long-term care (LTC) insurance coverage, even if you have decided that aging in place in your own home is the right decision for you. To find out more about how LTC insurance can free up funds for enjoying your retirement, contact a Washington DC estate planning lawyer.
How Is Long-Term Care Insurance Different From Medicare?
Medicare is health insurance available to all Americans ages 65 and older. It pays for doctors’ office visits, hospitalizations, inpatient and outpatient surgeries, diagnostic testing, and prescription drugs, much like your current employer-provided health insurance does. These are not the only expenses that seniors incur when they experience poor health. Medicare pays very little toward nursing home care, and it does not pay for assisted living facilities or adult daycare at all.
LTC insurance pays for the services that seniors suffering from long-term ill health need, services which are not strictly medical, such as the following:
- Nursing home care, including more comfortable accommodations in private nursing homes
- Residence in assisted living facilities
- Adult day care
- In-home care from home health aides
- Occupational and rehabilitative therapy not covered by Medicare
- Hospice care and end-of-life care for terminally ill patients
- Respite care, which enables patients who normally receive care at home to spend a few weeks per year in a nursing home to give their caregiving family members a break
The Sooner You Buy Long-Term Care Insurance, the Better
You can buy varying levels of LTC insurance, with different policy limits. As with health insurance, LTC insurance is the least expensive if you buy it when you are unlikely to file expensive claims in the near future; if you are in your 50s, $3,000 per year will buy about $77,000 of LTC coverage for you and your spouse. The older you are when you buy LTC insurance and the more pre-existing medical conditions you have, the more your LTC insurance coverage will cost. Some LTC insurance providers will not insure you at all if you are already residing in a nursing home. Most LTC insurance policies have an exclusion period, which means that you can only file claims for long-term care expenses you incur starting several months after you buy the policy.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
An estate planning lawyer can help you think about the big picture so you can make estate planning decisions that will pay off in the future. Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing for help.