It can be difficult to think about needing assistance from other people as we age, however most individuals will need long-term care in their lifetime.
Long-term care planning
Long-term care refers to services that an individual uses when he or she is no longer able to do every day activities independently. These services are often provided by a care facility that can help the individual with dressing, bathing, eating and similar needs.
Generally, people who need these services have serious or ongoing health problems but sometimes the need for care arises unexpectedly, which is why it is a good idea to consider long-term care planning well before an individual may need it.
Financial impact of long-term care
Long-term care can be expensive and there are several ways individuals choose to pay for it. Sometimes, they use personal funds or income but often they choose to purchase long-term care insurance or apply for Medicaid.
Medicaid is a federal and state program that covers low-income individuals, however in order to qualify, applicants generally have to spend down most of their assets and savings first.
With a long-term care insurance policy, the individual pays premiums over a period of time and then submits a claim when he or she needs services. These policies typically have limits on the length of care a person can receive and the coverage will likely vary based on the type of care facility he or she chooses.
Long-term care insurance policies also may have exclusions, meaning there are certain conditions it may not cover. Also, it’s important for the individual to continue paying the premiums so the policy does not lapse.
If you have questions about long-term care planning, an experienced attorney can help you understand your options.