Don’t believe the myths

Discover the truths about long term care.

Myth One – A government program will take care of me.

The facts are that government programs are difficult to qualify for and have very specific requirements for Long Term Care (LTC) services. A number of public programs that include Medicare, Medicaid and veterans services – may help pay for some LTC service in certain circumstances. However, each program has specific rules that define which services are covered, when benefits are paid, who can qualify and the dollar amounts individuals must pay on their own.

When people are able to qualify for Medicaid and the program pays their LTC costs, there is a catch. Federal law requires states to recover the money that Medicaid will spend on their behalf from their estate after they pass away. Probate law dictates what states will include in estates, but this could force a person’s spouse to sell their home, or Medicaid could put a lien on the house in the amount of the LTC expenditures.

Myth Two – I can save the money that I will need for LTC services.

The facts are that average cost in 2012 for a one-year stay in nursing home is $83,580. Of Americans age 65 and up, one in five will require LTC service. At today’s costs, $500,000 in assets would deplete their savings in a few short years.

Question to ask: How will I save up the money? And more important, why? LTC services can be very expensive. The growing costs for care present a huge financial risk to older seniors and their retirement dollars. Those who plan to take on the burden of LTC expenses for themselves, their spouse, or other loved ones could wipe out their lifetime savings much faster than they expect.

Myth Three – Only old people need LTC services.

Among adults age 65 and older, about 70 percent need some kind of help with basic activities of daily living for weeks, months or even years as they age. Also, help may be required due to aging-related from injuries or disability. Even adults who are not elderly may need a little extra assistance from day to day because of an illness, injury or disability due to declines in eyesight, hearing, strength, balance and mobility.

Myth Four – I do not require separate LTC protection because I have health insurance.

LTC protection is not the same as health insurance which is designed simply designed to cover the costs to cure individuals and return them to good health.

Myth Five – I could not afford LTC Insurance.

LTC protection may seem expensive, but not having it can be much costlier to individuals and families.

Myth Six – LTC protection pays for nursing home care only.

About 80 percent of care provided at home is received from unpaid family caregivers.

Bob Schumann14 Posts

Bob Schumann is a financial advisor in Sabetha.

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