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  • Medicare. Generally, Medicare does not pay for long term care. Medicare pays only for medically necessary skilled nursing facility or home health care. Certain conditions must be met for Medicare to pay for these services. A hospitalization is required before skilled nursing facility benefits kick in for the recovery time, on average under 25 days or less. It does not cover custodial care, which is what much of long term care is.
  • Medicaid. More stringent legislation in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 makes Medicaid less available as a long term care program for middle class Americans. In the past, loopholes were used by estate planners to divest their clients of assets to qualify for Medicaid. Tighter rules and closed loopholes are intended to restore the program for the truly.
  • Veteran's Administration. You must qualify as a veteran. Find out what type of coverage is available and if it is sufficient and desirable for you and your family.
  • Your personal "nest egg." Saving for long term care poses challenges. To acquire an adequate amount of assets to equal the total benefits of a long term care insurance policy, significant planning is required. In general, saving large sums on a fixed income is hard to do.
  • Transfer the risk. Minimizing exposure to risk through a long term care insurance policy outweighs the virtues of saving for these expenses.

A CCPS representative can properly explain these and other issues regarding LTC planning — and how to avoid the pitfalls associated with them.

Long Term Care Planning

People that are directly involved in long term care and know the issues, such as:

  • Federal and state policymakers
  • Senior advocate groups
  • Financial advisors
  • Caregivers

Believe long term care planning is important becauseā€¦

  • We are living longer, which increases the likelihood of needing care.
  • Medicare only covers a fraction of LTC costs.
  • Avoiding Medicaid, the health insurance program for the less fortunate, is preferable.
  • LTC is expensive and difficult for most people to pay for out-of-pocket.
  • Planning helps you maintain independence and retain choices about care; it allows you to stay in control about important life decisions.
  • You can avoid placing the burden of caregiving on family.
  • Planning before an LTC crisis arises is easier on your family.

An Excerpt from Our Guide

By the end of 2002, over 9 million people had purchased LTC insurance. The following explains why most people buy LTC insurance. People purchase LTC insurance based on what they value — whether it's remaining independent as long as possible or to avoid the strain of caregiving on family and friends.

Reasons People Purchase LTC Insurance

  • Maintain independence
  • Choose services desired
  • Afford services wanted
  • Protect retirement savings, standard of living, and family assets
  • Avoid dependence on government programs which may not provide the care desired or the care which is needed
  • Leave a legacy such as an estate or other assets
  • Relieve the burden of caregiving for a spouse or family members

Long term care insurance should be considered at the earliest opportunity, when premiums are lower and health status is good.

©2006 Cooperative Care Planning Services