Assisted Daily Living and Long-Term Care
Statistics show that nine million people over the age of 65 will need long-term care this year. While that number is quite staggering, they go on to estimate that over 12 million Americans over the age of 65 will need long-term care a year by 2020. A separate study by the U.S. Department of Health and human Services shows that those over 65 have a forty-percent chance of living in a nursing home, while ten-percent will stay there at least five years. Seventy percent of the elderly will be cared for by friends and family.
While no one wants to think that they'll need long-term care, especially when they are young and healthy, the chances are that at some point they will find themselves in need, due to an accident or injury, or due to deteriorating health or disease. While long-term care may be provided at a nursing home, in the community, in an assisted living situation or even at home, it can be costly. Without long-term care insurance, this extended care can drain a savings account faster than almost any other situation.
Many think that Medicare and Medicaid will be sufficient if they ever find themselves suffering from a disability or chronic illness, but that may not be the case. Other than prescriptions and doctor visits, many people need assisted support with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, cooking and getting from one place to another in and outside the home. These activities are only covered by long-term care disability insurance.
In most instances, Medicare pays for medical treatment. This includes nursing facilities or home health care that is deemed medically necessary, administered by medical nurses. Medicare, however, does not pay for custodial care. Custodial care includes non-skilled care, such as someone, perhaps a family member or friend, that must be present to help will daily activities such as using the bathroom, bathing or diabetes monitoring. With disability or chronic illness, it is oftentimes necessary to have someone present to assist with these daily activities.
If you are relying on Medicare, your expenses will not be covered. Depending upon the long-term care disability insurance that you buy, this necessary care can be included in your plan.
Medicaid is most often determined by your income and assets. A State and Federal Government program, Medicaid will pay for certain long-term care and disability services within the community or at home, but coverage varies from state to state. Medicaid will pay for certain nursing home care and health services for older people, though they must have low incomes and limited assets to qualify.
If you fall into the low income category, Medicaid can help. Though it may not be enough to pay all expenses. Long-Term Care
Planning for long-term care by purchasing an insurance plan to supplement Medicare or Medicaid is a smart choice. While there are many things to consider when purchasing a plan, statistics show that it is vital to think ahead about assisted daily living (ADL) care. Make sure to ask about in-home, nursing home and assisted living/adult day care.
Look for a policy that takes all of your possible needs into account, including care by non-professionals, such as family members.
Return to Social Security Retirement Questions.