By Shelby Thompson, Senior Advisor at Concierge Care Advisors
If you or your loved one does not currently have a long-term care (LTC) policy, it is something that must be bought into years in advance before needing it during retirement age. It is separate from Medicare or Medicaid and policy holders pay a monthly premium, often for years or even decades. Most policies offer payment coverage for assisted living, memory care or adult family home rent/care costs, private pay out of pocket nursing facility/rehab costs, and in-home caregiving support. Policies may either be a bucket of money to withdraw from or have a limit on the number of years it can be actively used; rarely will they be a lifetime benefit.
Our senior advisors love knowing that the clients they work with have a LTC policy because it changes the outcome of their options. Many seniors may not have a lot of money saved up, a high monthly income or other assets to reply on. A LTC policy will very much offset social security for a senior to afford a very nice transition to a retirement community or an assisted living.
What’s important to note about having a LTC policy is that once a claim is issued and coverage can be activated, there is an “elimination period” generally 90 days before the benefit amounts will start; thus, the policy holder and/or family will be responsible for all costs associated with care during that time.
We’ve worked with many seniors that have never implemented their policy and find themselves in a crisis where they don’t have enough resources to pay out of pocket for that elimination period. Due to this observation, we highly recommended that before waiting for a crisis to start the use of a LTC policy, take advantage of their in-home care benefit and pay for part time services when a senior is safe enough to remain at home to kickstart that elimination period. That way it won’t be an obstacle in the future when their needs, i.e. care costs, become greater.
There are so many great benefits of having a LTC policy:
- Financial security: senior living is expensive; a policy is a financial safety net for services as they age
- Reduce burden on family: relatives may otherwise have to provide care themselves or be able to have to help, or pay for a loved one’s care out of pocket
- Choice and control: seniors have more options for where they may receive care with better access
- Peace of mind: knowing there’s a LTC policy can alleviate the stress associated with needing long term care
Unsure what coverage your policy offers? Let us take a look and we can help navigate a transition!