The demographic that generates the highest amount of medical expenses are, of course, the elderly. Even the healthiest of those that are getting closer to the end of their life will inevitably need a significant amount of medical attention on a relatively regular basis. In the worst cases, long term healthcare will be needed.
Long term healthcare is when a person’s condition declines to the point where they need daily, or even 24-hour medical attention, whether it be through living in a hospice care facility or having a live-in nurse. Medical attention is always expensive. So, of course, long term medical attention is going to be quite expensive as well.
Unfortunately, standard healthcare insurance plans, including Medicare, are common way for the elderly to cover medical expenses, but don’t cover the expenses generated by long term healthcare. That’s why long term healthcare insurance is essential for these situations.
Long term healthcare insurance is a type of policy designed specifically for those who are suffering from a disability, chronic illness, or terminal disease that requires constant and highly expensive medical attention over a long stretch of time. This insurance will help with stays in nursing homes, hospices, or at-home medical assistance, and significantly reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
The following are a few of the types of medical services covered by a standard long term healthcare insurance plan.
Oftentimes, those who are experiencing severe medical complications are also experiencing degradation of their mental state. It can be extremely helpful for people in this state to receive care while still living in their home, a familiar environment. Home care can accommodate this while also assuring that the patient gets the necessary medical attention.
Adult Day Care
Adult day care is a service which allows adults to receive social stimulation and medical attention out of the home on a daily basis, without altering their living environment. This can also can be very beneficial to those suffering mental health issues.
This is the most traditional use of long term healthcare insurance. 24/7 medical care at a properly outfitted facility is often the only way to handle serious medical conditions, but can be highly expensive.
Now that you understand the benefits of long term healthcare insurance, how do you know if it is right for you? Long term healthcare insurance is not for everybody, but it is not only for the elderly or disabled either. The following factors can help you decide if these policies could be worth your while.
Age and Health
The time in your life where you will most likely be in need of long term healthcare insurance is also the time where it will likely be most difficult for you to obtain. Once you are in a position where long term healthcare is a necessity, facing a disability or nearing the end of your life, singing up for an appropriate insurance plan will be a difficult process. Due to your clear need, insurance companies will be inclined to either deny your request for coverage, or make it extremely expensive.
It is worth considering getting long term healthcare insurance before it is needed. If you sign up for a policy at a time when it is more than likely you won’t be using it, you will likely be approved at an affordable and reasonable rate. The trade off, though, is that you must paying those reasonable rates over a much longer period of time, with no guarantee that you will even need to use the coverage benefits. If you can afford it. though, it is worth acquiring.
The unfortunate contradiction of all medical insurance, but especially long term medical insurance, is that those who will be most benefitted by it are likely the ones who can barely afford it at all. Lower-income individuals can possibly qualify for Medicaid, a government service which can help pay for long term healthcare like nursing homes, but applying for Medicaid is a difficult process, and if you are denied, you are left with few options. If you have any disposable income in your budget, it may be smart to invest it in your medical and financial future.
Consider the fact that if the worst were to happen somewhere down the road, you may not need to have long term medical care. When my grandmother was coming to the end of her life, she lived in my parents’ home and received most of her care from them for several months before she needed 24/7 attention.
We were lucky enough to have the ability to do offer that care. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But you should assess those type of alternative healthcare options before investing in any long term insurance.
Providers of long term healthcare insurance are often very strict with preexisting conditions. Providers that accept applicants with preexisting conditions will often restrict coverage on those conditions. This is another reason to consider getting long term healthcare insurance as early as possible.
Once you’ve decided to purchase long term healthcare insurance, the next step is to determine which type of policy is best for you.
This will be how the majority of individuals will buy long term healthcare insurance policies. Where as you may be used to dealing with medical insurance issues through your employer, it is unlikely your employer will cover such a specialized and expensive field of insurance like long term healthcare. Instead, you will need to search for policies through an insurance broker who is specifically licensed in long term healthcare insurance policies in order to get the correct amount of help and coverage you need.
State Partnership Program
Many states offer State Partnership Programs that give you the opportunity to have a medical insurance policy cover some of your expenses while also receiving benefits from Medicaid. The availability and specifics of these policies will vary from state to state, but they can be very beneficial for those with limited incomes.
This is a type of policy that allows one plan to cover multiple people. This helps reduce cost, as well as the risk of buying a long term healthcare insurance plan and never actually needing to use it.