When The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) started the National Long Term Care Awareness Month campaign in 2008, Jesse Slome, AALTCI’s director, could never have imagined the world in 2020 with anything like COVID-19.
The global pandemic has already killed at least 60,000 U.S. nursing home residents, and it appears to be increasing nursing home mortality levels by at least about 20% over the usual levels, according to nursing home COVID-19 impact data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid.
COVID-19 has made consumers even more aware of the need to find long-term care insurance that maximizes their ability to get care in their own homes. As a result, insurers have lowered the ages where they will accept applications.
LTCI is More Than Just Nursing Home Insurance
Two-thirds of Americans age 40 and over say they’ve done little or no planning for their long-term care needs, according to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The goal, according to AALTCI, is to make November a time to create heightened awareness of the issues and to get as many non-insurance focused entities involved.
As people become more aware of the need for long-term care, it is important to know that by learning about LTCI, you learn that you transfer the financial risk from you (or your loved one) to the insurance company. LTCI allows you to pay a set premium to help protect you against a potentially expensive healthcare event, not all that different in a sense from the concept of auto insurance to help protect you from an accidental injury occurrence.
Originally introduced as nursing home insurance, Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) covers a variety of treatment and aid-giving options that include:
– Home Health Care
– Respite Care
– Hospice Care
– Nursing Home Care
– Adult Day Care Centers
– Assisted Living Facilities
– Personal Care in your home
– Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory loss care
As you can see, long-term care isn’t just an individual matter it is a family matter.
Education Goes Beyond Creating Awareness
Meetings with your Hefren-Tillotson financial advisor have probably produced conversations focused on how to protect your assets, providing long-term security and peace of mind, having an emergency fund, earmarking dollars for health care expenses, and avoiding becoming a financial burden on your family. These are the exact talking points for why you should consider purchasing long-term care insurance.
Nearly 7.5 million people have LTCI coverage, 14 million U.S. residents already receive some form of long-term care, protecting them and their families, and that the number is now on track to grow to 27 million by 2050.
Two-thirds of all new individual long-term care insurance claims pay for care needed by women. Currently, the majority of older single-person households are female. Women comprised 74 percent of solo households age 80 and over.
By 2030, one in five residents in the U.S. will be 65 or older. By 2040, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are expected to approximately double from 7.2 million to nearly 13 million, with 8.5 million women and 4.5 million men to develop dementia.
This is Important Because
Medicare does not cover long-term care costs because long-term care is considered “custodial” care rather than “medical” care.
Medicaid generally will pay for long-term care – if the patient’s monthly income is under a specified amount. And rules can vary from state to state.
A show of support is needed to those giving and receiving long-term care. On average, a caregiver – typically, a woman around 46 years of age – spends about 21 hours per week assisting their patient or family member. Many have had to alter their work schedule permanently due to caring for their loved one. They pretty much forget about taking vacations in order to take adequate care of their loved one.
The more we understand the emotional, physical, and economic toll that long-term care can take on loved ones, the more we can prepare for our own futures so we don’t become a burden to the people we love the most.
This would mean that rather than having a family member come and take care of you, a nurse would come to take care of you every day. If you choose this route but don’t have insurance, you will likely pay around $140,000 out of pocket on average. Only a little over 7 million Americans have this type of insurance. (Source: www.NationalDayCalendar.com)
One of the retirement considerations that must be dealt with is life expectancies are higher than ever. Talk with your Hefren-Tillotson advisor today about your situation and having adequate income, assets and insurance to pay for the generally higher health-care costs of increasing age.