November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month, a time to reflect upon your family’s finances, future, and potential long-term care needs. The need for Long Term Care (LTC) can create a devastating impact on you or your family, requiring dipping into precious savings or retirement to pay for essential care-giving services. With advancing technology and medical care, the average lifespan is increasing. The odds of any individual requiring long-term care are currently 50%, while the average length of long-term care needed is about 3 years.
According to the
National Clearing House for Long Term Care Information, the average rate at a private nursing home ranges from $238 to $435 per day. The average rate for in home health care ranges from $19 to $25 per hour. Be aware that the older you get, the more expensive this type of insurance will be. You will likely not be able to get long-term care insurance once you are sick or injured. Preparation and planning for this stage in your life can be extremely beneficial.
Many people worry that they will pay for long-term care insurance, but when they need it the insurer will deny benefits — relying on language the policyholder did not understand at the time of purchase. It is true that denials are frequent, usually because the insured seeks coverage for a type of facility not mentioned in the original policy, or he or she did not document the level of care provided to assist with activities of daily living. Companies like Bankers Life, Penn Treaty, Genworth, Guardian, SHIP, Conseco, Northwestern Mutual, and others have issued LTC policies over the years, and every policy is a little different. Some of these companies are more aggressive than others in their claim administration practices.
Elderly people with LTC Insurance or their family members or friends frequently call us to seek assistance when long-term care benefits have been wrongfully denied. While the basic concept of LTC insurance is simple, getting claims paid can be extremely difficult, frustrating and time consuming. What’s more, people in need of these insurance benefits too often do not have the strength or ability to fight with their insurance company, and are often cognitively impaired. We can help overcome many of the obstacles insurers place in the way to obtaining benefits.
In the end, even if you have to fight for benefits, it is better to have such coverage than nothing at all.