Long-term Care Insurance: Eldercare Solution
When I suddenly had to become a fulltime caregiver to my elderly parents, both with health problems and starting to develop dementia (namely Alzheimer's), I had never even heard of Long-Term Care Insurance. After we burned through their life savings, and then started chipping away at mine, I was advised to apply for financial assistance for them through the government's Medicaid system--a program for those at the poverty level. It was quite a long process with mounds of paperwork and numerous investigations, but finally my parents were approved.
I was so happy that monetary help would finally be on the way, until I discovered that the financial assistance would only pay to put my parents in a nursing home, not even in Assisted Living, and with very little help to keep them in their own home.
Since their levels of care were so different (my mother needed most things done for her), there weren't any facilities that would allow them to be together. They'd be across the street from each other in different wings of the home. After fifty-five years of marriage, my parents were adamant about wanting to be together in their own home, in their own bed, where they could continue to cuddle and kiss--as they so frequently did. And, since my father was so "difficult" with a terrible temper and quite a long record of manipulative disruptive behaviors, the homes didn't want to deal with him anyway.
It was challenging, but I committed to keeping my parents in their own home and attending Adult Day Health Care five days a week. Then, with the help of two marvelous caregivers, after four more years of loving each other--they passed, just a few months apart. Even though caring for every aspect of my parents' last years was the hardest thing I have ever done--I am proud to say I gave them the best end-of-life I possibly could.
Had I only known to insist that we buy Long-Term Care Insurance for them prior to their illnesses--their years of in-home care could have been paid for, and I could have saved myself so much heartache, not to mention a small fortune. I encourage you to learn from my mistake and look into LTC insurance long before you need it-for your loved ones as well as yourself. Like fire insurance, hopefully, you'll never have to use it.
Also, call your local Area Agency on Aging, or Department of Aging, and ask if there are any financial programs, waivers or grants available in your area that you can apply for.
· An estimated 4.5 to 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. In a Gallup poll, 1 in 10 Americans said that they had a family member with Alzheimer's, and 1 in 3 knew someone with the disease.
· Increasing age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's. One in 10 individuals over 65 and nearly half over 85 are affected. Rare, inherited forms of Alzheimer's can even strike individuals in their 30's and 40's.
· A person with Alzheimer's disease will live an average of eight years and as many as 20 years or more from the first onset of symptoms.
· More than 7 out of 10 people with Alzheimer's disease live at home, where family and friends provide 80 percent of their care. The estimated value of this informal care is $257 billion annually.
· One half of the U.S. population has a chronic condition. More than one quarter (26.6%) of the adult population provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend, which translates to more than 50 million people.
· 37% of caregivers are living in the same household as the person they care for. 54% are between 35 and 64 years of age. 59% of the adult population either is or expects to be a family caregiver, and 2 million more caregivers will be needed in the next twenty years.
· An estimated 43% of Americans age 65 or older will spend time in a nursing home. By 2012, 75% of Americans over age 65 will require long-term care. Long-term care costs are rising at 6% annually.
· The annual cost of Alzheimer's care in the U.S. is at least $100 billion, and will soar to at least $375 billion by mid-century, overwhelming our health care system and bankrupting Medicare and Medicaid.
· Alzheimer's disease costs American business $61 billion a year, which is equivalent to the net profits of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies. $24.6 billion covers Alzheimer health care, and $36.5 billion covers costs related to caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's, including lost productivity, absenteeism and worker replacement.
THREE WAYS TO PAY FOR LONG-TERM CARE
1. Pay for in-home caregivers and assisted living/nursing homes out of pocket. This is expensive and can often deplete a family's life savings.
2. Meet a very specific poverty level and qualify for government assistance through the Medicaid program. Unfortunately, options are limited, only paying for nursing homes that accept Medicaid.
3. Buy a Comprehensive Long-Term Care Insurance policy. This protects your family's assets from the rising costs of caring for someone who needs full time care. An employer might pay the tax-deductible premiums. Consider buying it at a younger age, when more affordable and accessible. It must be bought before a major illness strikes. Medicare and regular health insurance does not pay for long-term care. The average cost for a person who needs long-term care is $40-$70,000 annually, depending on where you live, plus the cost to the family caregiver who may have to leave their job.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR INSURANCE AGENT
--Is the coverage comprehensive, meaning it includes all levels of care: in the home, assisted living, board & care, and nursing/dementia facilities?
--What is the daily benefit?
--Is there 5% annually compounded inflation protection?
--What is the elimination period?
--Is it a lifetime benefit period or a limited time benefit policy?
--Is there a spousal discount?
--Can you hire caregivers privately as well as from an agency?
--Is the home care benefit based on a daily, weekly or monthly maximum, and if the benefit is not used, can it be used in the future?
--Does it cover home care coordination of services?
--How many ADL's (Activities of Daily Living) does it take to trigger a claim?
--Is there a time limit for filing a claim?
--Does it cover the cost of Adult Day Care & Adult Day Health Care, hospice and respite programs?
--Is it a tax-qualified plan?
--Is the company highly rated and have they ever raised premiums?
--Can you see the company's published annual audit to check their track record for paying claims?
Jacqueline Marcell is a national speaker on eldercare and the author of, "Elder Rage", a Book-of-the-Month Club selection being considered for a feature film. Over fifty endorsements include: Hugh Downs, Regis Philbin and Dr. Dean Edell. Jacqueline also hosts a radio program heard worldwide on: http://www.wsradio.com/copingwithcaregiving . For more information: http://www.ElderRage.com
Permission is granted to publish all/part of this article free of charge as long as: the author's byline is included, the links are live, and the author is notified: J.Marcell@cox.net or 949-975-1012.
The Many Benefits Of Travel Protection Plans
Many people purchase insurance thinking I want full coverage and once I get it I will be covered for every event that may befall my vehicle. But then they begin to question if every type of incident is covered with full coverage. Some events that people question if they are covered for are: if my car breaks down what about towing costs or if I need a rental car does the insur...(related: Insurance)
Need Low-cost Temporary Family Health Insurance?
Many families will find themselves without medical coverage at some point in their lives. So, what do you do if you find yourself in this situation? Here are some thing that you should consider when purchasing quality, low-cost temporary family health insurance.Low-cost temporary family health insurance is available for those under 65 and who are in generally good health. It also usually covers dependants under 19, as well. Although these policies are only good for six months or so, you can reapply for coverage, as needed. Bear in mind, however, that any illness or condition that occurred during this temporary coverage will be treated as a pre-existing condition under the new policy.Before you apply, however, there are some questions you sho...(related: Insurance)
Business Insurance ? And What You Need To Know
Getting your business up and running is exciting, challengingand hard work. You're finally making money ? and you are thedriving force that is making your business grow. But have...(related: Insurance)
Why Buy Life Insurance?
Love. Yes, that's right. Love for your spouse, children, family, or even your school. This insurance provides financial protection for your family and friends when you die. There are basically two types of life insurance ? Term and Permanent.Term life insurance provides insurance for a specific amount of time. Like, for one year. You can usually renew annually, and this is called "Annual Renewal Term". This works until abo...(related: Insurance)
Family Health Insurance Plans - How To Find The Best Provider Online
Family health insurance plans typically need to offer more coverage than plans for an individual. Regular check-ups and occasional emergencies need to be covered, especially if you have children. The best providers offer this level of coverage at a reasonable premium, but you have to research to find them.Pick Your PlanFees-for-service and managed care are the basic types of family health insurance plans offered. Fees-for-service allows you to choose your own physician, but often they don't cover preventative care. Managed care plans offer preventative care with a lower premium, but you have to use physicians from their network.Within these types of plans, there are hundreds of variations depending on the health i...(related: Insurance)
Health Insurance Plans And Their Differences
Health insurance plans have changed dramatically over the past ten years, and American's currently have several different options to choose from- including HMO's, PPO's, fee-for-service plans, MSA's and major medical. There are two main categories of health insurance plans that each of these policies is classified as; managed care plans and indemnity care plans. The differences between each of these plans mean the differences in how you will receive health care when you need i...(related: Insurance)
Whole Life Insurance - Whole Life Insurance Information
The original purpose of life insurance was to provide for your family in the case of your death. While this purpose is still the most potent reason to take out a life insurance policy, there are a number of other ways that life insurance can be used to benefit you and your family, even while you are still alive.The key is in choosing a whole ...(related: Insurance)
Travel Insurance Pre-existing Conditions Coverage - How It Works
What is a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?When a trip cancellation travel insurance company refers to a "Pre-Existing Condition", they are talking about medical conditions that exist in the Lookback Period that immediately preceeds the travel insurance purchase date.Simply put, a Pre-Existing Condition is any medically documented condition (no matt...(related: Insurance)
Medical Insurance Overseas
Thousands of people have work related commitments and in order to fulfill those commitments they have to travel abroad. Have you ever realized that most of the insurance company's provide only domestic medical coverage? So, whenever you are leaving your home country, do check up with your current Insurance Company whether they have Medical Insurance Overseas.The purpose of taking medical insurance is that you should be covered under all circumstances and to get the medical cover where it is required. So, "Do not postpone for tomorrow; there maybe law against it" and try to get the Medical Insurance Overseas benefits as soon as possible.Things like medicines, fees charged by the doctors, evacuation if required and all other hospitalization fees are incl...(related: Insurance)
Insurance For Those Who Run Bed And Breakfast Properties
A Bed and Breakfast, often referred to as a B&B, is a private residence with several rooms of which are set aside for overnight guests whose paid accommodations include breakfast. Modern Bed and Breakfast often consciously tries to recall...(related: Insurance)
Individual Or Family Health Insurance Options
As more and more individuals working at home with or without families find themselves without some kind of group health insurance. Sometimes even working at a job, no health insurance is even offered.Thousands of hard-working people in every state are making dangerous choices: No health insurance at all! They believe they are too young or too healthy. They believe they "save a little or a lot of money" and can do without.Consider your friends, family and neighbors ? people who may have been sick or injured. ...(related: Insurance)
Health Care And Health Insurance Costs Can Be Controlled Through Lifestyle Choices
As you probably know all to well, the cost of healthcare and health insurance premiums continue to increase at levels substantially above the general inflation rate. The reasons given for these extraordinary cost increases are numerous and include: technological advancements in the medical field, increased demand for medical services and prescription drugs, the aging of the population, cost shifting caused by the uninsured and governmental reimbursement rates, state and federal mandates, and costs associated with medical related lawsuits.As individual consumers, we have very little control over some of the factors contributing to the cost of healthcare. However, all of us have control ...(related: Insurance)
Keys To Controlling The Future Of Health Care
Several key changes are necessary to get control of the costs associated with the run away health care system in the United States.Here are just a few suggestions:1) Cost information about medical procedures and cost comparisons to alternative treatments need to be more easily available so that consumers can make better educated health care choices.2) Outcomes and outcome comparisons of alternative medical procedures need to be more ava...(related: Insurance)
site-map - Copyright © 2006 Insurance | All Rights Reserved. | Insurance