America was home to around 52 million people aged 65 and older as of 2018. Owing to the prolific baby boomer generation (anyone born between 1946 and 1964) and growing life expectancy, analysts predict the number will grow to 95 million by 2060. Our aging population has had significant social consequences. One of these is a relatively recent long-term care need, something that only in limited cases does Medicare, and indeed most health insurance policies, cover. Join insurance for long-term care.
We have to explain what we mean by long-term care first. Long-term care in general refers to the help that carries out regular everyday tasks, not medical care. These' operations' are broken into two groups by the Department of Health and Human Services. And you usually need to require help with at least two of these tasks to count as requiring long-term care.
Activities of daily living include:
For a finite period, such as after an accident or disease, you can need assistance with these tasks. Or, you can permanently need these services.
When you hear the phrase long-term healthcare, you can think of a nursing home. In fact, allowing the patient to continue living independently is one of the priorities of long-term care, although they can receive these services in a nursing home.
Providers of long-term healthcare include:
Custodial nursing home: Medicare describes custodial care as "non-skilled personal care," which means support with everyday living activities. Comprehensive treatment is offered by custodial nursing homes, not just medical care. This covers both everyday life tasks and personal and psychological treatment.
Assisted living facility: These communities are basically a combination of shared living spaces and nursing homes. The facility can be a large residence renting individual living quarters or a group similar to an apartment. Usually, assisted living requires employees who prescribe drugs, food preparation, live-in residents, group dining, and other opportunities for socialization.
Adult daycare: These activities are typically community-based and offer a spectrum of socialization and healthcare services. Common operating hours are between 8 AM and 5 PM, and centers are typically closed on the weekend.
In-home care treatment: This is by far the most common method of long-term care and is typically given by family members or friends. However, in-home treatment can also be provided by paid caregivers.
Depending on the type of treatment required, the costs for long-term healthcare differ widely. Average costs are, according to Health and Human Services:
Long-term healthcare is seldom provided by health insurance. Medicare provides long-term healthcare of a medical nature only, such as if after an accident or injury you need competent nursing care. Medicare never pays the price of support with everyday life tasks.
Enter insurance long-term healthcare. This is a relatively new form of insurance policy that pays you back for long-term healthcare expenses. You pick the terms when you purchase the policy, such as how much it costs every day, the type of treatment included (in-home, nursing home, etc.), and the maximum lifetime amount and days. You can also pick optional items, such as inflation adjustments.
Depending on the package and terms you select, the cost of long-term healthcare insurance varies. How old you are when you buy the policy is another consideration. The younger you are, the more likely you are to get a better deal.
Your medical background plays a part in determining the price, too. You can not find an insurance provider willing to cover you if you already need long-term care. The same is true if you have a history of having long-term treatment.
All that said, the rate is around $2,700 a year on average. For one person. However, you will usually get a discount if you and your partner both purchase policies, although that still leaves you paying for two policies.
You may be qualified to receive long-term healthcare benefits if you apply for Medicaid. Concerning the level of assistance available, criteria differ by state. For Veterans Aid and Attendance, veterans and their surviving spouses may qualify. Aid and attendance eligibility conditions include receiving a VA pension, as well as at least one of the following:
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Veterans can also qualify for housebound benefits if they spend much of their time housebound because of disability. However, They do not apply for both Housebound benefits and Aid and Attendance at the same time.
Finally, you will withdraw funds for long-term healthcare from certain whole-life policies. However, this is a fairly recent shift in life as a whole. And typically, these plans are more costly than straight long-term healthcare insurance.
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