June 24, 2002
Long Term Care
Carol E. Harris, MSW
Sometimes I wonder why more people don't request the facts about Long Term Care Insurance. The fact of the matter, we don't think about it until it is too late. The reality of long term care is that when the need arises, people don't know how to handle this life-changing event. When you need long term care, you need an expert to help assure that you receive quality care, keep control of your life, and maintain your independence and dignity.
The drive for self-reliance begins at an early age. As we work and save, we spend our lives building financial security and independence. However, as we get older there are things we need to do to protect that independence, especially in the face of astronomical long-term health care costs.
Medicare, Medical Supplement Plans and HMO's do not pay for Long Term Care. These plans only pay for recuperative care outside the doctor's office or the hospital. They only pay for a Nursing Home up to 100 days after a 3-day stay in the hospital. They also pay for Home Care, a couple of visits a week in your home from a nurse to check your vital signs, and do dressing changes; Custodial Care is not covered.
Custodial Care is the provision of shelter, food, and physical needs without amenities. Social workers also use this term to refer to assistance that does not require medical training, that is, help with activities of daily living. Your ADL's (adult daily living) include bathing, dressing, eating, toileting needs which are not covered under most insurance programs when you become ill or disabled.
Long Term Care Insurance is a separate insurance plan that can be purchased at any time from companies like;
New York Life
Time Physicians Mutual
American Travelers Life
Penn Treaty, and
PERS California self-funded plan for state employees.
Annual premiums are based on your age and your health.
- Long Term Care Insurance will reimburse for covered expenses incurred (up to the Daily or Monthly Maximum Benefit) for any level of covered care received while in:
- Own home
Adult Day Care facilities
Nursing Facilities (including private duty nursing when you are confined in a nursing facility)
Residential care facilities
There are many advantages to having a Long-Term Care Insurance plan. It includes unique asset protection provided by the State of California, and depending on the company plan it is contracted under the federal tax law, so that benefits will not be taxed as income, and premiums can be itemized as medical expense deduction (within limits).
For more information, contact one of the policyholders listed above.
Carol E. Harris MSW
- Of Interest:
- The History of Assisted Living (AL)
Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, Independent Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Medical Social Workers