The Art of Living Blog

Understanding Senior Care Costs & Long-Term Care Insurance

Senior Living | 09/1/18

Most of us keep our health top of mind as we age, proactively looking for ways to stay healthy and live long, satisfying lives. But with increased age comes increased chances of needing some form of long-term care, especially after age 65, no matter how well we take care of ourselves. That’s just a fact of life. And because of that, it’s important for every senior to understand long-term care insurance in case they someday need it.

Don’t wait until that day to learn the details of long-term care insurance. Start preparing now. Be proactive with your senior care costs now, just as you are proactive with keeping yourself healthy to live a long, fulfilling life.

Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cover Senior Care Costs? 

The short answer is that long-term care insurance (also called LTC insurance, LTCI, or long-term health insurance) helps cover the cost of support and services you need as you get older that may not be covered by traditional health insurance. This includes:

  • Adult day services
  • Assisted living
  • In-home healthcare
  • Memory care and support
  • Respite care
  • Skilled nursing care and rehabilitation

Traditional health insurance, including Medicare, usually does not cover the support and services listed above, which is where long-term care insurance can fill the gap. It’s also important to note that Medicare only pays for a short-term stay in a skilled nursing facility after you have been hospitalized for three days minimum – after which it’ll cover the next 20 days of care needed.

So yes, long-term care insurance does cover some of the senior care costs you may accumulate should you need long-term care someday. While it’d be nice to provide a definitive number regarding how much it costs to purchase long-term care insurance, we can tell you that cost is based on the following:

  1. Your age and the state of your health. The cost of long-term care insurance is lowest when you are younger and healthier. As you age and more health problems arise, the cost of purchasing long-term care insurance goes up. Some health issues can also be considered pre-existing conditions, which may disqualify you from certain coverage. Stay on the safe side and opt for coverage while you’re still healthy.
  2. The amount of coverage you choose. There are different levels of coverage, which provides you with more customizable coverage based on your individual needs. You may not need as much coverage as someone else, so you have the option to purchase less coverage. Obviously, the more coverage you choose, the higher the cost.
  3. The insurance company you pick. Just as different levels of coverage come with different price tags, so do different insurance companies. Not all insurance companies charge the same prices, which makes comparison shopping for long-term care insurance a smart strategy if you want to make sure you’re spending your money wisely. This may be a topic to run by your financial advisor, as well, if you’re unsure or overwhelmed by your options.

Does every senior need long-term care insurance? That’s not for us to decide. But there’s a good chance your health needs will change as you age, and those changes might benefit from having insurance that covers things like assisted living and skilled nursing services. That’s for you to decide. Be diligent with your research and be sure to pick a policy with a monthly premium of at least 5 percent lower than your monthly income. This will help you stay in budget.

Learn More about Stonebridge at Montgomery

At Stonebridge at Montgomery, we want to be here for you no matter what stage of life you’re in – if you’re just beginning to research your senior living options and long-term care insurance, or if you’ve been researching awhile and are ready to see for yourself. Don’t wait any longer. Schedule a visit with us today.