Planning for the costs of Long-Term Care is an essential part of comprehensive Estate Planning. As life expectancy rises, the likelihood of needing Long-Term Care also rises. The costs of Long-Term Care can be enormous, often $10,000 to $12,000 per month. Purchasing Long-Term Care Insurance is an option worth exploring to help pay for the Long-Term Care you may need.
What is Long-Term Care Insurance?
Long-Term Care Insurance is an insurance product designed to help protect against the high cost of nursing home and community based care. It pays for care that is generally not covered by regular health insurance. Further, Long-Term Care Insurance can help you protect assets and retain more control over your health care decisions later in life.
Do I Need Long-Term Care Insurance?
The truth is it depends. Some people will qualify for government assistance, such as Medicaid, to help pay for the cost of Long-Term Care.
There are ways to obtaining Medicaid Long-Term Care benefits and protect your assets. We help our clients explore the Medicaid Asset Preservation StrategyTM that is appropriate for them and design an Asset Protection Estate PlanTM that is best tailored to meet their objectives.
Alternatively, some people have sufficient wealth that they are able to pay privately for the Long-Term Care they need. However, most Americans may want to consider purchasing Long-Term Care Insurance for these purposes:
- As a measure to prevent impoverishment of the spouse who does not need Long-Term Care.
- To protect their estate from unnecessary depletion so they may leave behind an inheritance for children or other beneficiaries.
- To prevent relying on Medicaid to allow greater flexibility and options for care placement.
- To increase the likelihood that care can be provided in the home, possibly avoiding nursing home placement altogether.
As we noted above, an Asset Protection Estate PlanTM combined with our Medicaid Asset Preservation StrategiesTM can protect your estate from unnecessary depletion while still allowing you to remain eligible for critical governmental benefits. However, Long-Term Care Insurance may offer more flexibility in selecting the care you want as well as greater options in where that care is received. Depending on the policy you select it may cover room and board, home care, adult day care, hospice care, or other types of care.
The cost of a Long-Term Care Insurance can vary widely based on the amount of coverage you buy, the options you select, and how old you are when you purchase the insurance. In general the premiums will be less expensive the younger you are at the time of purchase. Understand that your premiums are likely to increase as you age.
Before purchasing Long-Term Care Insurance we encourage you to consult with an Elder Law Attorney who can help you understand how to best plan for future Long-Term Care needs. If you ultimately decide Long-Term Care Insurance is right for you, make sure you can afford the premiums and that you select the insurance benefits that can best meet your changing needs.
Please visit our Elder Law Questions page to learn more about Long-Term Care Planning and Insurance.
Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorneys
Elder Law Group PLLC has been recognized as one of the fastest growing law firms in the U.S. as an Annual Law Firm 500 Award honoree. Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office), for personal, compassionate, and competent guidance on Long-Term Care planning, Asset Protection Estate Planning TM, or other legal needs of seniors, the disabled, or vulnerable adults and their families.
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