November is upon us which means… It’s Long Term Care Awareness Month! And time for my annual awareness-raising post. Just kidding! Most of my posts are about raising awareness. 😉
This isn’t just another “Hallmark Holiday”. Long Term Care Awareness Month was created by Congress in 2001. They recognize how important it is to bring this topic into the American conversation. Since then, several governors and mayors have also joined the campaign to highlight this important information campaign.
When it comes to being able to afford often catastrophically expensive long term care (LTC) costs, many of us are unprepared. Our government will not be able to adequately bear the costs of providing LTC. Long term care insurance costs are often a fraction of actual long term care costs.
Measuring Long Term Care Awareness
In 2017, Genworth Financial conducted a survey to see how informed Americans were on the costs, options and even the need for long term care. Participants in the survey shared that their greatest fear about aging was “not having enough money to pay for long term care.” Despite this fear (or maybe because of it? See past blog, “Indecision Paralysis“), only one in five of the respondents had any plan in place to pay for those future medical costs.
The survey found that at least part of this lack of planning is due to misunderstanding what kind of costs could be in their future and which of those costs would be covered by government programs.
“Two out of three adults expect government programs to partially or fully cover the costs of their long term care services, despite the fact that Medicare pays for only limited care and Medicaid has strict financial eligibility requirements. In addition, both programs have come under increasing funding pressure.”
When it came to the purpose of long term care insurance (LTCi):
- 62% did not understand what LTCi covers
- 61% didn’t know that LTCi can, among other benefits, help create personalized care plans and locate quality care providers
November is Perfect Timing
Many families spend more time together this time of year. This is a great time to start asking questions and exploring your options together. After all, the decisions you make today will affect your entire family in the future.
Genworth has a wonderful resource to guide family members through this unfamiliar territory. Their “Conversation Starters” can help you navigate though uncomfortable topics like wills, power of attorney, and health care directives. There’s also questions about lifestyle and preferences for medical care options.
November is the perfect month to protect you and your loved ones by building a financial plan. Proper planning can help you access the care you’ll need and will make the quality of life you envision a real possibility.
Click here to receive a free, no-obligation quote for your own LTCi policy.