Monthly Education Focus: Long-Term Care
This month, we are focusing our educational series on long-term care. What are the risk factors that affect the likelihood of a person needing long-term care?
Individuals over age 65 have a 70 percent chance of needing some type of long-term care services in the future, and 40 percent will need nursing home care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
From U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information Web site, www.longtermcare.gov
Women, on average, have longer life expectancies than men
People with chronic health issues are more likely to need increased assistance with personal care in the future
Single people are more likely to seek paid care if they don’t have family members or friends able and willing to assist them. Having a spouse or domestic partner around to help may delay the need for professional medical service providers
Availability of Family Caregivers
If a person who has any children or family members that can step-in and help provide care for an aging parent can further the delay the cost of paid care
Long-term Care providers provide services that can take place in the home or in a facility. These services include.
- Home-based and community-based carePersonal care to assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s)
- Homemaker services to help people stay in their home by providing assistance with activities like meal preparation, food shopping, laundry, and housecleaning
- Home health care provided by trained medical personnel
- Adult Day Care
- Respite Care – to help relieve family caregivers when they are caring for loved ones with terminal or severe chronic illnesses
- Hospice Care
- Skilled nursing care facilities
- Residential care facilities for the elderly (different from skilled nursing facilities in that they don’t provide medical care)
- Continuing care retirement facilities and other retirement home communities
The costs of Long-term care depends on the area you live in and the type of services needed. In California, for instance, today’s median annual cost for various types of long-term care services currently are:
- $52,624 for home health aide services
- $48,000 for care in a residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE)
- $91,250 for a semi-private room in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) Keep in mind that these are the amounts needed to pay for care today
- These costs are rising rapidly at an annual compound rate between 2-5 percent inflation.
As one can see, the cost of long-term care expenses can be catastrophic to one’s financial situation.
- Stand-alone policies that provide long-term care insurance only, or provide long-term care benefits as a rider to another policy like an annuity, life insurance, or critical illness contract
- Group long-term care insurance (Check the group LTC insurance “Certificate of Coverage” to understand the benefits and insured’s rights under the plan)
- LTC insurance premiums paid by the employer on behalf of the employee are 100% tax deductible, and the employee can exclude 100% of the premiums paid from their gross income.
Cost of Long-term Care expenses
2016 CA Dept of Insurance Long-term Care Rate & History Guide
There are additional state-run programs designed to help people remain in their home and receive care rather than having to enter a residential long-term care facility. In California these agencies are: