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Secure Your Future with Long-Term Care Planning

Long Term Care Options

Are you prepared for the inevitable uncertainties of life? Long-term care planning is not just for the elderly or those with chronic illnesses—it’s a crucial consideration for everyone. Did you know that 14% of all long-term care claims are for people under age 65? Needing long-term care can happen to anyone at anytime. As life expectancy continues to increase & medical advancements improve, the likelihood of needing long-term care at some point in our lives becomes increasingly probable. It’s essential to address this while you are young & reasonably healthy because once health problems arise you may not be able to get this coverage. With proper planning by using long-term care insurance you can safeguard your financial stability by protecting your retirement money, assets and, ensuring you receive quality health care on your terms when needed the most.

Statistics reveal the reality of this problem many will be facing

  1. Over 70% of all people at age 65 now will need some form of long-term care in their lifetime.
  2. The average out-of-pocket LTC claim cost is over $270,000 (Avg. length – 2.7 years)
  3. The average annual cost of nursing home care in the US exceeds $100,000. These costs are expected to almost double in 20 years.
  4. Specific health issues like Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, Parkinson disease, Cancer etc. often require more extended periods of care.
  5. On average, individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease typically live for about 4 to 8 years after the initial diagnosis. Although some may live for much longer or shorter periods. further escalating expenses.

This is why proper long-term care planning is needed…It allows you to take control of your personal care and more importantly where you receive care. Most people want be in charge of their own personal care and want to stay in their homes as long as possible. Having long-term care insurance can help provide this option.

Despite common misconceptions, Medicare does not cover long-term care expenses. Many individuals are caught off guard by this fact, assuming their Medicare benefits will be sufficient to cover these costs. Without proper planning in place people will find themselves facing substantial out-of-pocket expenses. Long-term care planning provides a solution, offering coverage for services such as home care, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and more. Long-term care insurance puts you in charge of your healthcare not someone else.

What are the Long-Term Care options available that will help pay this care:

  • Self- Pay – Refers to the payment method for long term care in which the individual or their family will cover all the out of pocket expenses without using government or state assistance. This means that the individual is responsible for paying 100% of the full cost of their care. Most people cannot afford to pay $50,000 to $100,000 per year for care.
  • Medicaid – Can be used to cover long-term care services for individuals who are unable to care for themselves due to age, disability, or chronic illness. Long-term care services may include nursing home care, home health care, and personal care services. Eligibility for Medicaid’s long-term care services is dependent on meeting certain income criteria. In South Carolina seniors must have limited income and assets, and a medical need to qualify for Medicaid long-term care. In 2024, a single Nursing Home Medicaid applicant must meet the following criteria: 1) Income under $2829 per month  2) Assets under $2,000  3) Require a Nursing Home Level of Care. If you don’t meet these strict requirements and have too many assets this is where the Medicaid Spend Down period takes over. While Medicaid Long Term Care applicants who are over the asset limit can spend down their excess assets on themselves or their spouse to get under the limit, they can not just give away their assets or spend them on other people. To make sure they don’t, Medicaid uses the look-back period & penalty.
  • Veterans Administration The Veterans Administration (VA) offers a variety of long term care services for eligible veterans, including skilled nursing care, assisted living, and home-based care. These services are designed to support veterans who are no longer able to live independently due to age, illness, or disability. The VA also provides assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. Eligibility for these services is based on a variety of factors, including military service history and financial need.
  • Reverse Mortgage A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that allows homeowners over the age of 62 to convert a portion of their home equity into cash. This cash can be used for a variety of purposes, including covering long term care costs. These funds can be used to hep pay for home health care services, home modification and in a facility. Nursing home & assisted living facilities costs can be covered as well.  A reverse mortgage can be a helpful tool for covering long term care costs and allowing homeowners to take charge of their care with some financial security. However, it is important to carefully consider the terms and potential risks associated with a reverse mortgage before making any decisions.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance Options  Vary in coverage and cost & can be tailored to individual needs and preferences. 1) Traditional LTC plans offer comprehensive coverage for a wide range of services and time periods (usually 2 to 6 years coverage but, can be longer). 2) Hybrid life insurance plans that combine long-term care insurance with life insurance coverage. 3) Specific annuities that provide additional flexibility and LTC benefits. It’s essential to explore your options carefully and consult with a knowledgeable insurance agent to determine the best fit for your situation.
  • Short Term Home Health Care  A short-term care insurance policy costs less than a traditional long-term care policy and is easier to qualify for. This type of plan is for home-healthcare only. Although the coverage lasts less than a year, that might be all you need coverage can be anywhere from $20,000 up to $162,000. You can also buy a short-term care insurance policy to pay for care during the elimination period of a long-term care insurance policy which is usually 90 days.

In conclusion, long-term care planning is not just a prudent financial decision—it’s a fundamental aspect of securing your future and preserving your quality of life. By understanding the importance of planning ahead, exploring insurance options, and staying informed about available resources, you can take proactive steps towards peace of mind and financial security for yourself and your loved ones. Don’t wait until it’s too late; start planning for long-term care solutions today. Contact our office for more information.

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