We’ve all heard the arguments for and against long term coverage. For most of us, there’s a definitive benefit by having a policy such as this in place, but what’s often not part of the discussion is what this type of comprehensive insurance covers and if it’s really worth it, especially if there are other programs or plans in place. This week, we take a look at long term coverage and the benefits it provides.
Note: The Administration on Aging offers an array of resources and checklists. It’s a great place to start if you’re weighing your options and want to know the logistics of this type of coverage.
Versatility in Coverage
These types of policies are typically quite versatile and allow beneficiaries to make the most of them in a way that best suits their needs – even if those needs change. Those daily benefits can be used in your home, if you’re in any type of respite or hospice care, if you’re admitted to an assisted living facility, involved with an adult day service center, nursing homes and more. Wherever you call home, you can put these benefits to use.
Now that you know where you can use them, the question is, how can they be used? The benefits can be applied to any type of skilled nursing care, therapies for occupational, speech, physical or rehabilitation recovery and in most instances, this insurance will cover any assistance you need from a more personal housekeeping perspective, such as bathing, cooking and other in-home chores you have difficulties in completing. The only rule is that it’s in line with any personal care services you receive.
Long Term Care Coverage Works With, not Against Other Coverage
This is one of the best truths about this type of long term care coverage: it works with other policies or benefit programs instead of against it. Many are cautious because they worry about losing important Medicare or Medicaid coverage, but in most instances, the two co-exist in a way that benefits the recipient, especially considering many private and government programs simply don’t cover long term care. Disability policies don’t even address this type of coverage. The long term care policies are ideal for filling in the sometimes-wide gulfs in coverage.
Many, if not most private policies limit skilled nursing home stays to around 100 days, just as Medicare does. The long term care policies can offset the Medicare copays (which are currently $137.50 a day after day 20) and deductibles.
Also, don’t confuse disability insurance for long term care insurance policies. Disability coverage is applicable only to those who are working and even then it only covers a portion of the lost income. It doesn’t offer medical coverage and if you’re older than 65, it provides no benefits at all.
Clearly, there’s a place for long term care insurance in all of our estate planning and retirement planning efforts. A great place to start is with your elder law or estate planning lawyer. We can provide direction in terms of specifics for Vermont seniors. Having that knowledge can prevent common mistakes that are a hassle to undo. Give us a call today to learn more.
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