A friend of mine suggested that I look into long term care and consider buying a policy now since it will probably be cheaper than if I wait until I retire (which could be any day now).
Here are some of the things I found out.
Typically Medicare does not pay for Long Term Care
Medicare will not pay for Long Term care. It does provide for some payments for short term care in the home, care in a nursing facility or hospice care if
- You were hospitalized for a minimum of 3 days
- Within 30 days of hospitalization you are admitted to a Medicare-certified nursing facility
- You require skilled services such as physical or other therapies or skilled nursing services
Medicare will pay for some of your costs (if you meet all of the above criteria) for up to 100 days. For the first 20 days, Medicare pays 100 percent of your costs. For days 21 through 100, you pay your own expenses up to $140.00 per day (as of 2013), and Medicare pays any balance. You are responsible for all costs beyond 100 days.
Medicaid may pay for long term care but
While it covers long-term care services in nursing homes, long-term care services provided at home and custodial care in nursing homes it will only cover those who have very low or no income or assets or extremely high medical bills relative to income/assets. While The Federal government sets the basic rules for Medicaid, each State can determine additional requirements for services.
If you can not afford to purchase LTC insurance and need the long term care services you may have to spend down your savings and sell assets to qualify for LTC through Medicaid. There is a five-year “look-back” period prior to applying for Medicaid. All spend down and asset sales should occur before this 5-year period to avoid penalties and delays of approval for Medicaid services.
Long Term Care costs
The cost of long term care can be expensive. Long Term Care in a private nursing home can cost over $90,000/year, an assisted living facility can cost over $32,000/year (2012 costs). Home health care workers average about $20/hour.
Long Term Care Insurance
The following are some aspects of LTC insurance
- LTC insurance protects your assets in the event that long-term care is required.
- Typically your health or disability insurance policy will not provide for Long Term Care