Sunday, 27 March 2011 14:52
One of the biggest misconceptions held by Americans is that Medicare will be there to help them if they have to move in to a nursing home someday. But the sad fact is that Medicare covers very little in the way of nursing home costs, and generally only if the reason for the stay is to receive specialized medical care.
The government’s Medicaid program does cover some nursing home costs, but only after seniors have exhausted most of their assets. You may even know of neighbors or family members who saw a lifetime of savings disappear as the result of a health problem.
With Americans living longer, and the cost of nursing home care continuing to climb (one expert projects that the annual cost will exceed $250,000 by 2060), it’s important to consider long-term care when you plan for your financial future. You can’t really predict how long you’ll live or what medical needs you may have in the years to come, but you can take steps today to protect your financial security down the road.
That’s why many people purchase Long-Term Care Insurance policies long before they are likely to need that care. While coverage varies from policy to policy, most long-term care plans help to cover the cost of receiving care in a nursing home, as well as the cost of special care you receive in your home (such as visiting nurses or physical therapy). While plans probably won’t pay all of the cost, most of them provide a set amount of money for each day, helping you pay your bills and meet your daily living expenses.
Like nearly all insurance coverage, the cost of long-term care is based on the likelihood that you’ll actually need to receive benefits, which is why policies cost much less when you’re younger. Some plans require monthly premium payments throughout your life, while others allow you to make payments for a set period of time and guarantee that you’ll be covered when you need it.