Posted: May 2, 2022
There comes a time in our lives when we need to begin thinking about planning for our golden years and it’s never too early to start. Research conducted by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation shows that most Americans over the age of 65 will need long term care at some point. In fact, most of the time the care needed isn’t necessarily medical, it’s to assist with activities of daily living (ADLs). Many people prefer to stay at home where they feel most comfortable for as long as possible, and some simply don’t have the financial capacity for a long term care community. Whatever the case, a long-term care insurance (LTCI) policy, also known as senior care insurance, is a great option to help you offset the costs of home care. It is important to understand the policy and exactly what it does and does not cover so you know how to maximize long term care insurance for home care.
LTCI is a type of insurance policy that is intended to cover the costs of long-term care for older adults such as home care. This policy works similar to home or car insurance where you pay premiums for as long as the policy is in effect and make claims if you need to use the covered services. LTCI policies typically cover some activities of daily living (ADLs) such as meal preparation, dressing, bathing, toileting and or transferring. This is usually the same type of care that would be provided in an assisted living community.
Keep in mind that private health insurance, Medicare, or Medicare supplement may pay for short-term services at home like physical therapy or wound care but does not pay for daily support like meal preparation, appointment transportation, light housekeeping, dressing and bathing support. This is where having additional long term care insurance will come in to help pay for these services and help protect your retirement savings.
Just like vehicle or home insurance, different plans have different coverage, so make sure you know what your plan will and will not cover. Long Term Care Insurance will reimburse you for your home care expenses and typically have maximum daily benefits, elimination periods (waiting period from when you or your loved one become injured or ill and the time the insurance begins paying out the benefit) and policy maximums.
To help you manage your budget, make sure that you know what that daily cap is and how much the policy will pay during your lifetime. Typically, under most policies you are eligible for benefits when you can’t do at least two of the six activities of daily living on your own or if you have a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Some insurance companies will even offer optional riders to add to your policy. Each company offers different benefits so make sure to weigh your options to see what works best for your situation and inquire about any discounts the company has available. Some companies will offer a couple’s discount or a discount if you are in good health.
For those families planning on utilizing LTCI to help pay for home care, make sure to plan early. Policies have a varied waiting period before reimbursements kick in. It’s best to plan ahead and know how long it will be before the insurance becomes active as well as the method and frequency of reimbursement. It’s important to know if they have an online portal that you can digitally submit documents or if you will need to fax documents in as this will affect how quickly you get reimbursed.
The earlier you start planning the better prepared you will be when the time comes to find a home care provider to assist you or your loved one. Once you are ready to find a home care provider, be sure to ask what insurance carriers they accept as not every provider will work with every insurance carrier. For example, Rhythms Home Care accepts Transamerica, Mutual of Omaha and Genworth Long Term Care Insurance policies.
Rhythms Home Care believes in successful aging and provides quality senior in-home services. We are dedicated to supporting you or your loved one with enhancing your personal freedom, quality of life, and focusing on what is important to you and your family. Key home support services include medical and non-medical services as well as designing care plans around you or your loved ones unique needs. Our care partners are also available 24/7 and all team members are carefully screened, bonded, and insured.
If it’s time to start considering home care, you are probably wondering how to choose the right home care provider for you or your loved one. Rhythms is here to help you navigate this next step in life’s journey. Contact us at any time, we are happy to answer any questions you may have and learn more about how we can support you and your family.