Do You Need Long Term Care Insurance?

What is Long Term Care?  It is the care that someone needs to assist with activities of daily living (ADL’s), such as bathing, dressing, eating, continence, and getting in and out of the bed, to name a few.

Often, families will try to assist their loved ones with these task.  However, sometimes there is no family that can help, or family members may not be physically able to handle some of these tasks themselves, or may not be able to give the full-time care that is needed.  Other options are to bring someone into the home to assist,  or to move into assisted or nursing care facilities.  These options can be very expensive.

So, does it make sense to purchase Long Term Care Insurance?

An AARP article stated that if you live to 65 you have a 40% chance of entering a nursing home sometime during the rest of your life. The average stay lasts 2 1/2 years and costs $175,000.

So is Long Term Care Insurance right for you?  That answer may depend upon whether you are a man or a woman.  Women have a longer life expectancy than men by about 7 years.  Women also tend to have more chronic illnesses that lead to impaired mobility.  This may lead to more need for long term care.  Medicare only covers short-term medically necessary care in a skilled nursing facility.

Long Term Care Insurance plans vary widely, and you should consider all the terms carefully in deciding if it makes sense for you.  Plans can be costly, and often require a 30, 60, or 90 day waiting period before you qualify for benefits.  Some do not cover in-home care.  If you have a sizable estate, self-insuring may be your best option.

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