What is long-term care insurance and why do you need it?
A simple Google Internet search yields a definition for insurance as, “a practice by which a company provides a guarantee of compensation for a specific loss.” Therefore, long-term care insurance is apractice by which a company provides a guarantee of compensation should you ever need long-term care or assistance with bathing, dressing, eating, toileting or transferring. Long-term care includes a variety of services that may be both medically and/or non-medically necessary for people with a chronic illness or disability.
Planning for long-term care requires you to consider possible future long-term care needs and costs. It is important to plan for long-term care before you need it, and before a crisis occurs. By planning your choices now, you will have more control over your individual situation, possibly remaining independent longer. Making long-term care decisions can be very difficult, even when you plan ahead.
Although most people cannot imagine themselves ever needing help with these activities of daily living, most people can imagine their loved ones needing care. If your parents are older than 70, it probably seems possible that they might need help at some point, or you have actually seen them need care. Can you imagine your partner needing care? What are the consequences should a family member unexpectedly need daily assistance?
Now consider the other insurance products you already have in your life. Auto insurance covers losses to your personal income in the event of an auto accident or theft. Health insurance covers losses to your income in the event of illness or injury, saving you potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. Life insurance helps provide for your loved ones in the event of your death, providing for a continued source of income.
As the provider for your family, you have taken steps to protect your family from catastrophic losses beyond your control.
Now, what happens if you have a major stroke or heart attack and can no longer bathe, dress or eat without assistance? What happens if your partner is involved in a catastrophic event and requires daily care? Who will provide the care and how will the care be paid for?
You may never need long-term care. Even if you make careful plans and arrangements, you may never need it. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “This year, about nine million men and women over the age of 65 will need long-term care. By 2020, 12 million older Americans will need long-term care. Most will be cared for at home; family and friends are the sole caregivers for 70 percent of the elderly.”
Are you prepared?
To learn more, send your questions!
Mark H. Covey, CLTC, CSA
Member of Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Provider Program