Before I discuss reasons for purchasing a policy, it is important to make sure that you understand what these plans cover. They are a type of health insurance, but they are intended to cover the costs of facilities or companies that assist disabled people with daily living activities. This is something that most medical plans do not cover, at least not for an extended period of time and regular use. Some medical plans, like Medicare, may cover short term or irregular care. However, benefits expire after a short time.
Here are some key things to note about long term nursing care:
- Your care could be from a home health aid, a nursing home, and assisted living home, or even an adult day care. It is for disabled people who cannot care for themselves. Some plans only cover certain types of care.
- Even though we call this type of care, nursing care, it does not always come from a registered nurses. It could come from an aid who assists patients with certain activities. They type of care that you will get depends upon what you need.
- Most of the time we tend to associate the need for this kind of assistance with senior citizens. However, many people under age 65 also become disabled and could need some form of nursing assistance.
- Basic Medicare benefits only cover short term or irregular care, and they do not cover long term care!
How Does Long Term Nursing Care Get Paid For?
Sometimes the bills may be paid by Medicaid, but this program is different than Medicare. In some states it may be very difficult to qualify for. Many times, a state resident will have to spend most of their assets in order to start getting Medicaid assistance. In other words, if you do not have any long term care coverage, you or your family will get the bills.
What Should You Know About Nursing Care Plans?
Long term care insurance (LTCi) can pay all, or some of, your nursing care bills. There are many different types of policies and coverage levels, so you should try to research a lot of different plans and companies before you buy! Some things that may vary are your waiting period, daily limits, types of care, and much more. They are also not the only way to plan for the cost of long term nursing care, and you should also explore other solutions.
There are some government incentives to encourage people to purchase nursing care policies. If you purchase a qualified policy, you may be able to deduct the premiums from your income tax. This can give you a tax break and an extra incentive to purchase coverage. It also reduces the real cost of your policy.
These days, many states are also trying to encourage residents to purchase nursing home policies. They relax Medicaid qualification rules for people with qualified nursing care insurance.
Note that qualification rules are different for state plans than they are for the IRS tax deductions. In addition, not all states have passed this legislation yet. A good long term care insurance agent or retirement planner may be able to help you if you do not care to research this yourself.