Long-term Care Insurance: In Case of a Prolonged Illness or Injury

PD Medicine and Healthcare EP017 While no one likes the idea of being a burden to their families, often plans are not able to avoid such a situation ahead of time. This may be due to a reluctance to invest money now toward comfort and care we may or may not need in the future. But as people discover the considerable resources it takes to care for infirm parents and other loved ones, the business of long-term care insurance is growing. Depending on where you live, a nursing home or other care facility may cost over $90,000 each year (in New York state). Long-term care policies cover major expenses such as in-home healthcare, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes for those who are ill for long periods of time—regardless of age.Here are some of the basics of long-term care insurance.

Where to Buy It

In the US, over 100 companies offer long-term care insurance. Group coverage may be offered by your company as an optional benefit. Individual coverage, on the other hand, is a choice for people who are self-employed or unemployed, or work for a small company that does not offer it.When buying long-term care insurance, shop carefully. Be sure you understand the details of the plan and are confident you are choosing a plan that works for you.

What It Covers

These policies generally pay for the help you may need during a prolonged period of disability due to physical or cognitive impairments, such as stroke or Alzheimer's disease . This may include standard home care, adult day care, nursing homes, assisted living, and management services that help monitor and arrange for care. The plans may also cover adult day care and "respite" care when your regular caregivers need time away. The insurance usually covers both "skilled" and "unskilled" care. Skilled care refers to health professionals—doctors, nurses, licensed therapists, etc. “Unskilled” care generally refers to untrained individuals hired to help with dressing, eating, going to the toilet, and other activities of daily living (also known as ADLs).Policies can be specific about what they cover. The ADLs most insurers list are bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring, and most do not start payment until the patient is limited in several capacities.

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