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Long Term Care

Will I Need or Use Long-Term Care? 

If you have a major illness or injury—such as a stroke, heart attack or broken hip—and need assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing or dressing, you may need long-term care. If you do need care, you may need nursing home or home care for only a short time. Or, you may need these services for many months, years or the rest of your life. 

It’s hard to know if and when you’ll need long-term care, but the statistics that follow may help: 

  • Life expectancy after age 65 is about 19.4 years (20.6 years for females and 18 years for males). The longer people live, the greater the chance they’ll need help due to chronic conditions.
  • About 11 million Americans of all ages require long-term care, but only 1.4 million live in nursing homes.
  • About 35% of people who reach age 65 are expected to enter a nursing home at least once in their lifetime. Of those who are in a nursing home, the average stay is a year. 
  • From 2015 to 2055, the number of people age 85 and older will almost triple, from more than 6 million to more than 18 million. This growth is certain to lead to an increase in the number of people who need long-term care.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance? Call to discuss viable options for you.

 Long-term care insurance is one way you may pay for long-term care. This type of insurance will pay or reimburse you for some or all of your long-term care costs. A federal law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) gives some federal income tax advantages to people who buy certain long-term care insurance policies. You should check with your state insurance department or insurance counseling program for information about tax-qualified policies. Check with your tax advisor to learn if the tax advantages make sense for you.

Do I Need To Buy Long-Term Care Insurance?

Whether you should buy a long-term care insurance policy depends on your age, health, overall retirement goals, income and assets. However, carefully consider whether buying a policy makes financial sense if you can’t afford the premium or aren’t sure you can pay the premium, including any increases, for the rest of your life. If you already have health problems that could lead to long-term care (for example, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease), you probably won’t be able to buy a policy. Insurance companies have medical underwriting standards to keep the cost of long-term care insurance affordable. If companies didn’t have these standards, most people wouldn’t buy long-term care insurance until they needed long-term care. ( see personal worksheet)

Let me help you build a plan to best help your family deal with the consequence of extended care.

Source: A Shopper's Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance – 2019 National Association of Insurance Commissioner

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