What is a long term care event? A long term care event is any services required to care for a patient with a chronic disease or disabilities that prevent them from performing daily tasks on their own for extended amounts of time. These services can include medical, nursing, custodial, or social services that family and friends are not able to assist them with on a daily basis. Long term care usually refers to the elderly, but it can be used for any age.
These services can be provided inpatient, like nursing homes and assisted living facilities, or outpatient, such as adult day care and other in home services. Depending on the type of care that your family member needs will determine how in depth of care you will need to provide.
But with health care costs constantly getting higher, long term care services are very extensive. So expensive, in fact, that many families are forced to change or cut work schedules to help their families. Some family members may even have to quit working all together. In-home services like adult day care and in-home assisted living programs can range from $20,000 to $55,000 per year. Assisted living facilities can charge as much as $50,000 annually, while nursing home costs can exceed $100,000 per year.
Will my insurance company cover long term care costs? Probably not. Medicare and most private insurance companies will not provide coverage for long term care. Some private insurance companies will provide some initial coverage for medically necessary expenses. Their coverage, however, will be only for short term care and will usually only cover the medical costs and nothing else.
Long term insurance is one option to help cover the expenses of long term care. Long term care usually incorporates care that is chronic and will not be cured. Private insurance companies will only provide benefits up to an extent and that is when long term insurance can help reduce the costs to you.
Another option that you may want to consider is tapping into the life insurance policy of the patient. A majority of life insurance companies will provide early settlements for a reduced rate of an actual settlement. Some may even be willing to provide advances on the life insurance policy for some nominal fees. If those options do not work, viatical settlement companies will pay most of a settlement for terminally ill patients. They just require that the patient sign over their policy to them.
Seeking long term care is very expensive and hard on families. Gathering information and researching your options will decrease the amount of financial burden that you will incur if such services become necessary.