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Long-Term Care

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Long Term Care Insurance Demystified - 
Who Needs It, Who Doesn't and Why

(Page 3 of 5)

Benefits can be triggered by cognitive impairment or an inability to perform two or more activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, transferring, etc. These benefits can cover many settings for care including skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes), assisted living facilities, memory-impaired facilities, adult care homes, residential care homes, hospicee care facilities and optionally, in the family's own home (home care).In addition, many policies can cover an independent geriatric manager and homemaker services such as cooking, cleaning, laundry and even shopping. It can also cover training family members in personal care giving.

Policies are not standardized. Each plan is custom designed with the help of a state-licensed LTCi agent. Most policies reimburse policyholders for care expenses, although some policies call for a check without proof of expenditures once the benefits are triggered.

While most buyers claim the coverage serves as "asset protection", many see it as the only way to assure freedom of choice in securing the quality of care that they desire. These families wish to avoid reliance on an overtaxed Medicaid or welfare bureaucracy that cannot guarantee top quality care for everyone.

As in other areas or our society, it comes down to dollars, dollars, dollars and dollars are exactly what LTCi can deliver when the need is there.Care situations can be stressful enough without the added burden of paying year after year for professional help.


The need for long-term care is greatest in the over-65 population in general and specifically in the over-85 group, where the need for formal nursing care is highest.  Statistics published by the Health Insurance Association of America reveal that almost one half of the population turning age 65 will need formal nursing home confinement of some duration in their remaining years.  Roughly one fourth of the population over age 85 are in nursing homes at any given time.  By age 85, sixty one percent of people who have limitations in performing activities of daily living are indeed receiving care in nursing homes.

There are now over 2.25 million older Americans in nursing facilities. This figure is expected to increase another one million by the year 2003 and much more from there on.  How many new nursing home beds must we add to handle these needs by the year 2030 when the median baby boomers retire?  Reports predict as many as 200 more nursing home beds per day will be needed.



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