Long Term Care Insurance, or LTC as it is affectionately referred to in the vernacular, is probably the most important insurance you should have and don’t know about. Sure health insurance is important, sure disability insurance is important, but LTC…SUPER important. What is it? It is insurance used to pay for the cost of private duty home health care services in your home and in some cases policies are used to cover living expenses in an independent living facility. Private duty home car is another one of those important services that most of us know nothing about. We all know about Medicare, but the myth is that Medicare covers the need for assistance in the home with activities of daily living, or ADL’s? WRONG!! Medicare, if you are lucky, sends a nurse or therapist in the home a few times a week for up to an hour, but realistically less, per day. This all happens in a 60 day period and then you are discharged, unless your physician certifies a need for a new episode. So what happens the 23 other hours of the day that you need ADL assistance with things like bathing, dressing, transferring from the bed to the couch? Who helps with that? In a nut shell, that is where private duty nursing comes in and where we come full circle on LTC.
While Medicare is a free, government provided service, private duty is as it name suggests, private. And it is not cheap! Don’t take my word for it, take a look at the surveys attached from 3 leading LTC providers. Costs in Florida are anywhere from $16-$18 an hour. What if you or a loved one just came out of the hospital and needed 10 hours a day of care, 7 days a week at home to recover? Well using the estimates provided, you could be looking at anywhere from $1,100 to over $1,200 a week in care!! Unless you are independently wealthy (think Bill Gates) you would want to make sure you have an LTC policy in place to cover this cost.
This the beauty of LTC, you can buy $50 a day or coverage, up to a few hundred a day. They come in monthly limits, 1-5 annual maximum payouts, etc. But structured properly. A good LTC policy would cover some or all of these costs for private duty nursing care. And like any insurance, the younger you buy the policy the less costly the annual premiums, so lock in early!
So all this gets back to dollars and sense. You can purchase an LTC policy to cover that al important cost of private duty nursing care that will be needed by you or a love done some day. Make sure the provider you select to provide those services accepts assignment. Accepting assignment allows the provider to bill the LTC carrier directly and can allow the policy holder to start service on day 1, without having to pay out of pocket, assuming the policy cover all the costs. Best Care just happens to be such a provider. Check us out at www.bestcare.net
And for those of you into a little planning, check out useful calculator that can be found at www.longtermcare.gov This is a web site from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and there is a link on this page to help you calculate your long term care costs. There is also useful planning information as well as a tab for long term care resources.