When it comes to long term care planning, many Floridians are avoiding it. This is primarily because they are uninformed or unable to afford insurance. Many people are also in denial. However, the statistics don’t lie. At some point, approximately 70 percent of Americans age 65 or older will require nursing home care or some sort of assistance with medical needs. Who will pay for it? You might be surprised to know that Medicare or a private health insurance won’t.
The only exception is Medicaid, which pays for long term care for about 70 percent of nursing home residents. Of the other 30 percent, most are paying their expenses out of pocket. A nursing home can cost more than $80,000 a year. Even a home health aide isn’t cheap, costing more than $50,000 a year.
Not many people can comfortably afford these amounts, which makes long term care planning a necessity. Insurance can help, but it must be purchased wisely. You likely will be denied coverage if you wait until you are sick to buy it, so your best bet is to purchase it when you’re in your 50s or 60s and healthy.
There are many insurance options based on price. If you can’t afford the best policy, that’s OK. Just purchase one you can afford. You can always upgrade later and plus, it’s better to have some coverage than none at all. However, understand what your policy does and does not cover. Some have long waiting periods or cover only specific types of care.
Long term care insurance, just like auto insurance and homeowner’s insurance, offers asset protection. The need for long term care can quickly wipe out one’s hard-earned savings. A good policy can bring peace of mind.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Why you need long-term care insurance and tips on buying it” Lisa Zamosky, Jun. 21, 2014