Long Term Care
Financial Services for Long-Term Care Concerns
For most of us, it is unpleasant to envision a time when performing routine tasks may become difficult as the result of injury, illness or aging. If the time comes when you need substantial assistance performing daily tasks, it is unlikely you will want cost to be the primary decision-making factor for your long term care. Long term care (LTC) services can be expensive and costs generally continue to rise. Planning early can help ensure that you have more control in receiving the type of care you want—in the setting you choose, should the need arise.
Potential Ways to Pay for Care
A variety of sources may be used when expenses do not qualify under Medicare or personal health insurance.
In some cases, family members and friends may be able to help with some of the care you need—preparing meals, providing transportation; helping with housework, bills, or medication for example. Caregiving can be rewarding, but it can also be stressful. It’s important to recognize when family caregivers need a break and/or can no longer provide the care you require.
When professional long term care is necessary, one option is paying with your own resources such as savings, investments, income (pension, Social Security, annuities), or even your home or home equity. Consider how long these sources might last and what other goals may be unfulfilled if these funds were used for care.
Another option is insurance designed for long term care expenses, or with the option to use the policy’s primary benefits for long-term care if needed. For example, your existing life insurance or annuity may contain provisions to utilize benefits early in the event you need long term care. It is important to have an insurance professional review your existing policies and carefully explain the differences in the types of coverage available today.
Finally, you may be able to qualify for your state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid only pays after you meet eligibility requirements, including specific restrictions on income and assets.