This February 16, 2015 Chicago Tribune article succinctly hits all the reasons why it is in every insurable, non-poverty stricken Americans best interest to plan for possibly needing long-term care.
Here are some quotes from the article that I especially like.
“While baby boomers had the opportunity to plan for aging, many also had that generation’s impulse for immediate gratification and haven’t saved,” says Lucia West Jones, executive director for the nonprofit Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging.
The numbers back up her concerns.
According to an AARP survey of people 50 or older, 62 percent of workers say they are saving for health-care costs, but 55 percent are worried they may not be able to afford those expenses.
Information from the AARP also states the average 65-year-old couple will need $220,000 for 20 years of post-retirement health-care costs, with Medicare possibly covering little more than half those years.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging claims at least 70 percent of people who live to 65 or older will need long-term care services and support at some point when they are elderly.
In the Chicago area, according to a 2014 study from insurance holding company, Genworth Financial, annual costs for full-time home care aides or services are more than $49,000; for adult day care, almost $20,000 per year; almost $60,000 per year for an assisted living facility; and a semi-private room in a nursing home averages more than $80,000; with a private room more than $92,000.”
(For accurate long-term care costs in your locale, click here for Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey.)
Last but not least, I like the article’s acknowledgement that long-term care insurance (LTCi) kept Ms. Fleming’s mother off of Medicaid. She had higher quality care and her family had a less stressful experience because she owned LTCi:
“LTCi kept them off Medicaid. Even with the long-term care policy, Fleming said she spent months sifting through her mother’s health insurance and Medicare paperwork, providing documentation to the insurer to secure benefits covering her mother’s expenses. No Medicaid was needed to pay for her mother’s care.”
As I’ve said so many times, it is very unfortunate that acknowledgement of long-term care insurance (LTCi) ownership is usually done grudgingly, as an “oh, by the way” mention, hidden deep within the content of stories like this.
Why did this story emphasize that Ms. Fleming needed months to provide adequate documentation in order to collect from Mom’s LTCi? Of course, all claims require proof of need. But the story doesn’t give us any idea of what took so long to provide. Claims on LTCi are straightforward and not complicated and certainly do not require a great deal of time to complete.
If anyone has questions about how straightforward LTCi claims are, please contact me. LTCi claims are black and white. They are unambiguous.
Why did the author of this article not choose to emphasize the truth? The main point is that substantial amounts of money were collected from Mom’s LTCi: enough money to keep Mom off Medicaid and out of a nursing home.