Extended Care Insurance

Extended care insurance can help you plan and control your future if you eventually need some sort of care to remain independent. You can be reassured knowing that long-term care insurance will help pay skyrocketing long-term care costs.

Having your own plans in place makes sense because Original Medicare does not pay for custodial care (non-health related care). You can get long-term care coverage as a standalone product. Or, as many people do, you can consider a “hybrid” — long-term care protection added onto another plan, such as life insurance or even an annuity. This helps add some cost efficiencies to your retirement planning.

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Comprehensive

Comprehensive long-term care insurance offers freedom of choice. This type of insurance covers both nursing home and home health care expenses.

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Facility Only

Facility-only long-term care insurance covers expenses associated with nursing homes, assisted living facilities and Alzheimer’s facilities.

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Home Health

Home health care insurance allows you to maintain independence should you need visits from a nurse or just help around the house.

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Short-Term

Short-term care insurance is designed to provide protection for at-home and facility care for needs lasting less than one year.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are a few questions and answers to get you started. Visit gcbseniorinsurance.com for in-depth information and articles on specific topics.

You have options. Home Health Care, using outside professionals who work at your home part time or stay there 24/7, might be a practical choice. Many people prefer staying at home, and it can be more economical than other types of care. There are many caregiving services that can work directly with your insurance company.

Assisted Living can is also a popular choice, allowing you to live with more independence in an apartment of your own. These communities often have different levels of care in one complex, allowing you to transition from complete independence to receiving continual skilled nursing care.

Adult Day Care is a promising innovation providing care and companionship at convenient locations. These services facilitate getting you out of the house, connecting with friends and providing breaks for your caregiver. Transportation is often provided.

The traditional choice of Nursing Home Care is widely available. It makes sense to carefully explore nursing homes in your area — and maybe some closer to family — before you need care to find one that might suit you best.

Reports show that the need for long-term care can last several years.

Women generally need any long-term care services for almost four years; for men it is a little more than two years. The average amount of time people use nursing home care is one year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Short-term care
Also remember that due to illness or injury, you could need short-term care, sometimes called recuperative or convalescent care.

Short-term care insurance, usually providing coverage for a year or less, can be used along with Medicare (to pay Medicare deductibles, for instance), or even to pay a long-term care policy’s deductible.

When a person can not take care of him or herself, is very depressed, or has extreme memory loss, a nursing home may be a good choice for care. In this environment you can depend on care around the clock.

Reports say that while 70% of Americans over age 65 will need some type of long-term care, 40% of those reaching 65 will enter a nursing home (The Wall street Journal). Of people reaching 85 and older, about one in eight lives in an institution (Family Caregiver Alliance).

Other things to consider in your plans:
Cost: Nursing home care costs vary by state and region. But studies show the average cost has topped $80,000 a year (CNN). Clearly, nursing home costs can be damaging to an individual’s — or even a family’s — budget.

Can Medicare help? Medicare does not cover nursing home care if custodial care (bathing, dressing, eating, etc.) is the primary type of care provided. Medicare only covers certain skilled nursing care services that are needed daily on a short-term basis (up to 100 days).

Original Medicare will cover care by registered nurses, licensed practical and vocational nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists.

Many long-term care policies are stand-alone — not attached to any other policy. Usually they are very comprehensive, covering nursing homes, home health care, and more.

BUT today’s long-term care insurance landscape is increasing broadly to include offering add-ons to other product types for long term care coverage.

• For example, you may be able to get a rider (add-on policy) to a cash-value life insurance policy. With this, your premium is split between the life insurance and long-term care coverage.

• An additional way to get long-term care coverage is sometimes called an “either-or” life insurance policy. If the insured dies without needing long-term care, a death benefit is paid. If he/she does need long-term care the benefit can go toward that. Something to know: if benefits are used up before the person dies, the policy expires.

• Long-term care benefits can also be “packaged” with a single premium deferred annuity. Part of the annuity earnings are then used to pay for long-term care coverage.

• Long-term care insurance can also be combined with a disability income policy. The long-term care benefits are typically only paid to people over age 65.

Clearly there are a number of good ways to get long-term care coverage. The marketplace is best explored with guidance from a trained professional.

Given the choice, most of us would probably opt to stay at home for care. Home health care is assistance provided in the patient’s home by professionals, or more informally, by relatives, neighbors, or friends.

As is the case with nursing home care, Original Medicare does not cover custodial home health care (bathing, dressing, eating, etc.).

Home health care tends to be much less expensive than nursing homes or assisted living facilities, but costs can still add up. Typically, long-term care insurance will help with home health care costs.

Home health care can be especially helpful if relatives or friends are helping with care. Professionals can help give these caregivers a “break” to rest or take care of personal business.

Long-term care insurance may even pay family or friend caregivers.

Assisted living blends a sense of independence with help for the tasks of everyday living. It is an alternate to a nursing home or home health care, typically providing nursing care, housekeeping, and meals.

Unlike a nursing home, assisted living residents do not live in a hospital setting. They usually live in their own apartments.

Assisted living tends to be less expensive than a nursing home but more expensive than home health care.

Medicare does not pay for assisted living, but long-term care insurance can help cover it.

Here is a concept that is catching on. Adult Day Care usually takes place in conveniently located centers. It is designed to provide care and companionship for older adults who need assistance or supervision during the day.

Sometimes the center provides transportation for seniors to and from the center.

This type of care offers brief periods of relief to family members and caregivers who need to do other things. This can include going to work, handling personal business, and just enjoying some free time while their loved one is cared for.

Long-term care insurance may help pay for adult day care.

You can take much of the doubt out of your future with long-term care coverage.
The key is, start planning now for living longer (78.7 years on average according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and needing care.

There are many plans and companies to choose from, and a range of prices. Game Changing Benefits can help you make a good choice. We can guide you through a crowded marketplace to make the selection that is best for your needs. We have access to many top companies and the plans they offer.

We will help you gain peace of mind. You will know that if you eventually need long-term care, it does not have to mean financial difficulties for you and those you care about.