Many Americans worry about what happens when nursing home or other long-term care becomes a necessity. Most people do not have nearly enough savings to cover the high expenses of a room in a nursing home or even the kind of in-home assistance many elderly end up needing.
Long-term care insurance can seem like a superfluous expense, especially when you have many current obligations to meet. Insurance with good coverage also does not come cheap, causing many to wonder if it is worth it. However, the reality is that, for the overwhelming majority of the middle class, investing in an insurance policy is the best way to ensure you get the care you need when the time comes.
One of the typical arguments against purchasing insurance is that you may not end up needing the benefits. Of course, this can be true for any type of insurance policy. However, insurance that provides for long-term care differs in two aspects. First, most people who live over the age of 65 do end up needing it at some point. Second, the expense of covering these costs out-of-pocket would be prohibitive and out-of-reach for most middle-class people.
Medicare, which you can become eligible for once you are over 65, will not cover long-term nursing home care. Medicaid does; however, you must meet strict income and property limits to be eligible. In California, Medi-cal sets a $2,000 ceiling on non-exempt assets you may own, with a higher threshold if you have a spouse who does not receive long-term care. Long-term care insurance can help you get the services you need without having to deplete almost all of your assets first.
The other popular strategy for providing future care costs is trying to save enough money. This can work if you or your spouse have a very high income with few current expenses. The average cost of a private room in a nursing home was $6,965 per month in 2010; since then, costs have only risen. While there exist less expensive care options such as part-time in-home assistance, you have no guarantee that you or your spouse will remain in sufficient health for this to be a viable choice. For this reason, it can make more sense to put your disposable income towards long-term care insurance first and other savings later.
You do not need to purchase the most expensive insurance policy that exists. An experienced insurance professional can help you figure out your likely needs and figure out the best policy to fit your budget. To get more information, you can contact Sackett Insurance Services at (707) 823-3689. Keep yourself updated by following our social media feeds on, Facebook, and Linkedin, or subscribing to our blog.