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Long-Term Care

 

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Health Care Costs in Retirements


We provide expertise, tools and guidance you need to help you prepare for one of your biggest financial decisions: how to cover the cost of healthcare in retirement.

What is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care is a range of services and supports you may need to meet your personal care needs. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Using the toilet
  • Transferring (to or from bed or chair)
  • Caring for incontinence
  • Eating

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Who needs care

70% of people turning age 65 can expect to use some form of long-term care during their lives. There are a number of factors that affect the possibility that you will need care:

Age – The older you are, the more likely you will need long-term care

Gender – Women outlive men by about five years on average, so they are more likely to live at home alone when they are older

Disability – Having an accident or chronic illness that causes a disability is another reason for needing long-term care. Between ages 40 and 50, on average, eight percent of people have a disability that could require long-term care services. 69% of people age 90 or more have a disability

Health Status – Chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure make you more likely to need care. Other factors are family history, poor diet and exercise habits increase your chances of needed long term care.

Living Arrangements – If you live alone, you’re more likely to need paid care than if you’re married, or single, and living with a partner

How much care will you need?

The duration and level of long-term care will vary from person to person and often change over time. Here are some average statistics you should consider:

  • Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and supports in their remaining years
  • Women need care longer (3.7 years) than men (2.2 years)
  • One-third of today’s 65 year-olds may never need long-term care support, but 20 percent will need it for longer than 5 years

The table below shows that, overall, more people use long-term care services at home (and for longer) than in facilities.

Distribution and duration of long-term care services

Type of Care Average # of years people use this type of care % of people who use this type of care
Any Services 3 years 69
At Home
Unpaid care only 1 year 59
Paid Care Less than 1 year 42
Any care at home 2 years 65
In Facilities
Nursing facilities 1 year 35
Assisted living Less than 1 year 13
Any care in facilities 1 year 37

Who pays for Long-Term Care?

The facts may surprise you. Consumer surveys reveal common misunderstandings about which public programs pay for long-term care services. It is important to clearly understand what is and isn’t covered.

Medicare:

  • Only pays for long-term care if you require skilled services or rehabilitative care:
    • In a nursing home for a maximum of 100 days, however, the average Medicare covered stay is much shorter (22 days).
    • At home if you are also receiving skilled home health or other skilled in-home services. Generally, long-term care services are provided only for a short period of time.
  • Does not pay for non-skilled assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL), which make up the majority of long-term care services
  • You will have to pay for long-term care services that are not covered by a public or private insurance program

Medicaid:

  • Does pay for the largest share of long-term care services, but to qualify, your income must be below a certain level and you must meet minimum state eligibility requirements
  • Such requirements are based on the amount of assistance you need with ADL
  • Other federal programs such as the Older Americans Act and the Department of Veterans Affairs pay for long-term care services, but only for specific populations and in certain circumstances

 

Protect yourself and loved ones when you need care the most. Contact one of our friendly licensed professionals to identify the right coverage at a right price for you – in less than 5 minutes.

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