Long Term Care Myths - The Facts!

Below are some common myths about Long Term Care and what the actual facts are versus the myths:

Myth #1: I can save the money I’ll need for Long Term Care (LTC) services.1

Fact: Anyone who’s had this thought should stop to consider two crucial questions:
How will I save up the money? More important, Why?1

Long Term Care services are very expensive. The growing costs for care present a huge financial risk to older adults’ retirement dollars. Those who plan to take on the burden of LTC expenses for themselves and/or a spouse or other loved one could wipe out their lifetime savings much faster than they expect.1

Consider the facts:

• The average cost in 2010 for a one-year stay in a private nursing home room is $83,580.1

• Of all Americans age 65 and up today, 1-in-5 will require LTC services for five years or more.1

• At today’s average cost, a couple with $500,000 in assets would deplete their savings in just a few short years paying for LTC services.1

Myth #2: A government program such as Medicaid or Medicare will take care of me?

Most people incorrectly think Medicare will pay for Long Term Care services. In reality, Medicare does not generally cover long term care. Medicare pays for skilled care in a nursing home only for short periods (only up to 100 days) during which you are recuperating following a hospital stay for a related condition.

Also government programs are difficult to qualify for, and they have very specific requirements for Long Term Care services. Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ services may help pay for some Long Term Care services but only in specific circumstances. However each program has specific rules that define which services are covered, when benefits are paid, who can qualify, and the actual dollar amounts people must pay out of pocket. Medicaid pays for long term care only for people with very low assets and limited income

When people do qualify for Medicaid and receive benefits for their Long Term Care costs, there’s a snag. Federal law requires that states recover the money Medicaid spent on their behalf, from their estate after they pass away. Probate law dictates what the states will include in estates, but typically it includes real and personal property, such as a home. This could force a person’s spouse to sell their home, or Medicaid could put a lien on the house in the amount of Long Term Care expenditures.

It is also very important to remember that government programs are limited by availability and financial resources.

Myth #3: My family will take care of me

Home Care is one of the fastest growing industries for these reasons:
Families are working and living further away from their parents than ever before. Not only that, but many adult children are in the sandwich generation that may have a young child and a parent they are taking care of. This additional care can create a burden to the family members since it is a large undertaking causing stress as well as creating a large financial cost if they stay home. So it is very important to keep in mind that caring for a family member can be a huge financial and emotional burden on your loved ones when deciding not to purchase Long Term Care Insurance for yourself and/or your spouse.

You may want to ask yourself these type questions:

Will my children be willing to clean up after me all the time?
Will my children be willing to help bathe me?
Will my children be willing to clean up after I have an explosion outside the bathroom? 

These are real type scenarios that can and do happen every day, so they need to be considered while planning for your future care needs. 

Myth #4 My spouse and I are too young to need Long Term Care services.

Facts: Nearly 40% of people using Long Term Care services are under the age of 65!
Strokes, diabetes, car accidents, ladder falls, and other chronic conditions are just some of the major causes that require Long Term Care among younger populations.

Among adults age 65 and older, about 70% will need some kind of help with the basic activities of daily living for weeks, months or even years as they age. 

You should purchase your long term care insurance policy when you are young and healthy to receive the lowest premiums.

Myth #5: I don’t need a separate Long Term Care Insurance policy because I already have health insurance!

Most people incorrectly believe that they have coverage for Long Term Care expenses.

Long Term Care Insurance is not the same as health insurance, which is designed simply to cover the costs to cure individuals and return them to good health.

Private health insurance and Medicare may cover skilled nursing, short-term care, and medically necessary care, but they won't cover custodial or personal care services, and those services represent a significant proportion of long-term care expenses. Private health insurance and Medicare won't pay for assisted living, continuing care in retirement communities, or adult day services.

Health insurance is intended to help pay for medical care only, but Long Term Care Insurance benefits help support potentially costly Long Term Care services, which can include Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as: bathing, eating, getting dressed, moving around, etc. Long Term Care services are generally required by those who are dealing with chronic illnesses, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. that require the level of needed care that can continue to grow over time. 

Myth #6: I can’t afford Long Term Care Insurance!1

Fact: The cost for LTC protection can fit nearly anyone’s budget and financial goals. LTC protection may seem expensive, but not having it can be much costlier to individuals and families. LTC costs can quickly deplete a person’s hard-earned life savings.1

LTC protection may seem expensive, but not having it can actually be much costlier to individuals and families.1


Myth #7: I won't need Long Term Care services.

Strokes, diabetes, car accidents, ladder falls, Cancer, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and other chronic conditions are just some of the major causes that require Long Term Care, and because these life altering conditions tend to occur later in life, many people who are in their 60's underestimate the likelihood that they'll eventually need a long term helping hand. In addition, when you consider that people are living longer on average, the chance of needing Long Term Care is likely to increase in the future.

That assumption, however, is sadly incorrect. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people turning 65 this year will require Long Term Care in the future. 

Contact me at (941) 404-5334 to set up an appointment to discuss your long term care options and/or get you started on the right track of getting yourself insured.

Please take a few seconds to read what my actual clients have to say about my personalized service in their own words by clicking this link. Insurance Agents Reviews

1. Source: OneAmerica State Life Insurance Company