Long-Term Care Insurance
Comfort Keepers of Charleston, SC accepts most Long-Term Care insurance policies
Long-term care (LTC) insurance, unlike traditional health insurance, covers long-term services for personal and custodial care in a variety of settings. These settings include homes, community organizations, and other facilities.
About Long-Term Care Insurance
LTC policies reimburse policyholders daily amounts for services that provide assistance. Care options range according to policyholder eligibility. Eligibility is most often determined by age, medical condition, and other criteria, including:
- Policyholder age at time of policy purchase
- Maximum daily reimbursement amount
- Policy coverage period (maximum number of days or years)
- Lifetime maximum payment amount of policy
- Additional (optional) benefits
Most individual policies require medical underwriting, which means that individuals who are in poor health typically find it more difficult to qualify for LTC coverage. These individuals may purchase limited coverage at ‘non-standard (higher)’ rates, but it is financially burdensome and is often a last resort.
Most LTC policies have limits on payment durations and totals. Some policies cover periods of two to five years and others cover entire lifetimes. Some policies have no limits, though these policies are uncommon.
Insurance companies may raise premiums based on individual LTC needs. For this reason, it is important check the premium rate history of each company that is a potential provider and to speak with insurance specialists.
What do I need to know?
If you have not started saving for LTC coverage and have not yet purchased an LTC policy, a financial adviser or a lawyer may be able to advise you and help you develop long-term plans that protect you.
Some things to remember about LTC:
- There are two kinds of long-term care: ‘skilled,’ and ‘personal.’
- Employer-based health coverage will not pay for daily, extended care services.
- Medicare will cover a short stay in a nursing home or a limited amount of at-home care, but only under strict conditions.
- LTC policy option flexibility protects against unknown long-term care needs, home modifications included.
- Premiums often increase over time. Project your income before purchasing.
- Medicaid pays for nursing home care and in most states covers limited in-home care.
- Medicaid eligibility often dictates that most of your financial resources be exhausted prior to enrollment.
- Benefits paid out through LTC policies are generally not taxed as income. Most LTC policies are ‘tax qualified’ by federal standards, which means that itemized deductions and medical costs in excess of 7.5% of individuals’ adjusted gross income can deduct the value of premiums from federal income taxes. Federal deduction amounts depend on age.
- Many states offer limited tax deductions or credits.
- The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) does not apply to LTC.
Why Long-term Care Insurance?
The importance of LTC cannot be overstated.
On average a single senior adult pays $3,000 per month to live in an assisted living center and $6,000 per month to live in a private room in a nursing home (WSJ). Average daily costs for adult day care are approximately $40 and in-home health care costs are $20 per hour on average. These are all out-of-pocket costs.
LTC policyholders pay annual average costs of $2,065 (out of a potential $162,000) and have 3% compound-inflation protection, which increases benefits in compensation for inflation.
LTC policyholders also do not have to communicate with care facilities, medical providers, or other care providers on their own. Insurance companies do most of the communicating for them. This frees policyholders up to get and stay well.
How can Comfort Keepers help me?
At Comfort Keepers Mt. Pleasant we accept long-term insurance. This makes us unique to other Comfort Keepers locations and to other eldercare providers. We are happy to work with insurance companies so that you can concentrate on getting and/or staying well.
We know that paying for coverage can be stressful and challenging. We also know that long-term care insurance is one of the most efficient ways to do it. We’re happy to work with your provider.