Just as there are many kinds of long-term care services and supports, so is there a wide range of costs for them. And while some people may qualify for a public program to help pay for these expenses, most people use a variety of options, including long-term care insurance, personal income and savings, life insurance, annuities and reverse mortgages to ensure they can pay for the care they require. As our population ages, new financial products are offering yet more options.
Important questions answered in this section:
Some average costs for long-term care in the United States (in 2010) were:
The cost of long-term care depends on the type and duration of care you need, the provider you use, and where you live. Costs can be affected by certain factors, such as:
Many people believe that the medical insurance they currently have will pay for all or much of their long-term care. In general, health insurance covers only very limited and specific types of long-term care, and disability policies don’t cover any at all.
Medicare Supplemental Insurance, also known as “Medigap,” are private policies designed to fill in some of the gaps in Medicare coverage. Specifically, these policies help to:
There are 12 standardized Medigap plans defined by federal law. Find out more about Medigap and see what is covered at the official government website for Medicare.
Disability insurance is intended to replace some of a working person’s income when a disability prevents them from working. It does not:
Unlike traditional health insurance, long-term care insurance is designed to cover long-term services and supports, including personal and custodial care in a variety of settings such as your home, a community organization, or other facility.
Long-term care insurance policies reimburse policyholders a daily amount (up to a pre-selected limit) for services to assist them with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or eating. You can select a range of care options and benefits that allow you to get the services you need, where you need them.
The cost of your long-term care policy is based on:
If you are in poor health or already receiving long-term care services, you may not qualify for long-term care insurance as most individual policies require medical underwriting. In some cases, you may be able to buy a limited amount of coverage, or coverage at a higher “non-standard” rate. Some group policies do not require underwriting.