How Prepared Are You for Long-Term Care Expenses?
Most Americans are not financially self-sufficient enough to prepare to pay for long-term care. Because of this, most people go through their daily lives hoping they will never need it. If the worst happens, and you or a loved one is in need of long-term care, hope won’t protect your from potential financial ruin.
The odds say, the older you become, the more likely you will require some kind of long-term care.
What Are My Options?
Self-Insurance is covered by your own income. Your income must be able to provide for the rising costs of long-term care. Even if your resources are sufficient, due to the rising costs of long-term care, you may have to severely alter your lifestyle in the future.
The Medicaid Option
Another option is applying for Medicaid, which can help pay for your long-term care needs. Created in 1965, Medicaid is jointly funded by a federal and state program that covers medical bills for the elderly and disabled. It is a two part system, Part A is hospital insurance protection that covers hospitalization and some home health care. Part B of Medicaid helps cover physicians’ service, diagnostic tests and outpatient care. Part D covers prescription drugs.
You will be required to pay a certain amount of hospital visits with medicaid, unless your stays are between 60 days and then you will be required just to pay your deductible. Over 60 days, and you will be required to pay a co-payment everyday up to day 90.
Medicare also will pay for skilled nursing care for the first 20 days but only after a three day stay in the hospital. From day 21-100, medicare will cover part of the costs but your co-payment will still need to be paid. After day 100, Medicare will no longer pay.
Because Medicaid requires frequent deductibles and co-payments, Medigap was created to be supplemental insurance. Medigap is designed to pay your deductibles and co-payments required by Medicare.
To qualify for medicare, you will have to possess few assets or will have had to spend them. Unfortunately, Medicaid is almost like welfare.
The state determines how much income and resources you are entitled to have. If you are over that limit, you will not be eligible. To qualify, you may think about transferring your assets. However, their are strict laws created to discourage asset transfers to qualify for Medicaid.
Long-Term Care Insurance for Physicians and Dentists
A better option for Physicians and Dentists is a long-term care insurance policy. This may allow you to transfer a portion of your economic liability of long-term care to an insurance company for exchange for regular premiums.
When you possess long-term care insurance you can use it to help pay for skilled care, intermediate care, and custodial care. Many long-term insurance policies that are available will also pay for nursing home care. More comprehensive long-term insurance policies may qualify for home care services or assisted living.
Long-term care insurance is purchased to protect your family from the devastating costs of long-term disabling medical conditions.
Many insurance companies have included a long-term care rider to their life insurance contracts. For an additional fee, the insurance riders can provide you a percentage of the face value to help cover the cost of longer-term care.
If you are apprehensive about meeting your long-term care needs, you may want to look into additional insurance options to help fill in the gaps. Most often, it may be best to purchase a private long-term care insurance policy to protect against overwhelming costs.