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The Basics of Long-Term Care

By May 5, 2016March 2nd, 2022Employee Benefits

As people begin feeling the effects of old age, they may experience difficulty with bathing, eating, dressing, toileting and ambulation. These activities of daily living are commonly abbreviated as ADLs in long-term care facilities. Individuals who find themselves having trouble performing even two of these activities alone on a regular basis may need long-term care. If cognitive impairment is part of the equation, the likelihood of needing long-term care is higher.

What Is Long-Term Care?

Most people think that long-term care is simply a permanent nursing home stay. However, long-term care can also include personal care in a home, hospital or private facility. Long-term care involves providing assistance to individuals who need help with ADLs for more than a few months. It’s important to understand that Medicare and most other private health insurance companies only pay for skilled care, which is different from custodial care. Skilled care consists of nursing, rehabilitative or medical services, which includes assistance in testing, taking medicine and similar activities. Custodial care includes assistance with ADLs.

Will I Need Long-Term Care?

Individuals who are under the age of 55 probably won’t need long-term care. Only a small percentage of those who are over this age threshold will require long-term care before reaching their 70s or 80s. However, most people who reach the age of 65 during their lifespan will require long-term care at some point. Trends show that almost 50 percent of people who might have entered a long-term care nursing home will go to an assisted living facility in the future. These facilities have more space and are much less expensive. However, they offer more limited assistance to residents than nursing homes do. Although the idea of living in a care facility someday seems disheartening to many people, the good news is that today’s generations are staying healthier longer. This means that the need for long-term care is lessening. If it is required, most people are able to wait until later in life to start utilizing such services. Since better medical practices and prevention strategies are in place today, it’s possible to stay out of a long-term care facility for a longer period of time.

When Is The Best Time To Buy Coverage?

As a general rule, it’s best to purchase long-term care insurance prior to turning 60 years of age. This is because younger individuals are less likely to be rejected. After reaching the age of 50, rejection becomes a reality. While the percentage of individuals in their 50s who are rejected is low, the likelihood increases as people reach their 60s and 70s. For example, the chance of applicants in their 50s being rejected is one in 10. The chance of individuals being rejected in their 60s is two in 10. After reaching the age of 70, the chance is four in 10. The younger an individual is when beginning a policy, the lower the premium will be. If a premium is set when an applicant begins a policy, the amount stays the same. This is another good reason for applying at a younger age.

There are many advantages that individuals with long-term care coverage enjoy by buying a policy at an opportune time. To learn what options are available and how much to expect to pay, contact an agent today