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Planning for Long-Term Care: Why You May Need More than Medicaid

Posted November 29 2011


According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70 percent of people over the age of 65 require long-term care services. Most Americans mistakenly believe that their Medicare coverage will pay for most of their long-term care, or that they will qualify to receive Medicaid – but most do not. 

 

There are also other federal public programs like the Older Americans Act or other state-funded programs, but as with many federal aid programs, they target those with the greatest functional and financial need. 

So how can you start planning for long-term care services now? There’s a good chance you will have to supplement the payments for long-term care with your personal income and resources, and this can be particularly difficult – “Even if you have a modest need for assistance at home with personal care, say a visit from a home health aide 3 times a week, based on 2008 average costs, you would have to pay about $18,000 a year for those services,” says the HHS long-term care website

To formulate the best strategy for planning, you need to know what services cost, what public programs you’re eligible for and what they cover, what private financing options are available and which ones work best for you and your unique circumstances. Costs for personal care beyond what family can provide, disability support, and more extensive services in a facility can add up quickly, and vary based on the type and amount of care you need, the provider you use and where you live. “Home health and home care services, provided in two-to-four-hour blocks of time referred to as "visits," are generally more expensive in the evening, or on weekends or holidays,” reports the HHS. 

The cost of adult day service and other community programs are often provided on a per-day rate, and can vary based on overhead and programming costs. Although some care facilities offer “all-inclusive” fees, many charge extra for services rendered beyond the basic room-and-board charge. 

For more information, like what care costs bases on where you live, visit the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information website. MHG Marine offers a variety of comprehensive long-term care insurance plans to help you finance care services. Medicaid covers a fraction of these costs, and many people cannot afford to draw from their personal income or resources to cover the remainder. Securing quality long-term-care insurance is a great way to ease the financial burden of long-term care costs. Contact an expert at the location nearest you to learn more about long-term care medical insurance.