Tag Archives: Nursing Home

Surprising Long Term Care Insurance Statistic

Surprising Long Term Care Insurance Statistic

In a recent report from the American Association for Long Term Care insurance, it states that in 2011 $6.6 billion (6,600,000,000.00) were paid out in claims to 200,000 people.

If all the claims were equal (which we know were not) that would be $33,000.00 per person on claim.

Now not everyone goes on to long term care claim (just like not everyone has a car accident), but if you do go into a facility whether nursing home or assisted living, or you need someone to come to the house, how do you plan on paying that?  Let’s use the number of $33,000 per year (some are higher some will be lower), what will that do to your savings account, your retirement, do your kids have enough to pay for it?

I know it’s a lot of questions, but something that you should at least think about. You should contact me for a quote specific for your situation.

Also did you know when it comes to purchasing long term care insurance that you can write off a portion of it?  I have copied this directly from the IRS website.

Qualified long-term care premiums up to the amounts shown below.
Age 40 or under – $340.00
Age 41 to 50 – $640.00
Age 51 to 60 – $1,270.00
Age 61 to 70 – $3,390.00
Age 71 or over – $4,240.00

Again Contact me with questions.

Medicare and Long Term Care

Medicare and Long-Term Care

Quick…how are you going to pay the costs of nursing home, assisted living, or home care should you or a family member ever need one of them?

Medicare, right? Actually, that answer is almost always wrong. And, even if Medicare pays, it only pays part of the cost and only for a short while. Worst of all, it only pays for skilled nursing care following a three day/three night hospital stay. Think about how few people actually spend three full days in the hospital any more-it’s more likely to be three days and two nights, and then Medicare does not pay for follow-on nursing home (or similar) care, regardless of the illness or injury.

Very few people who need long-term or follow-on care need skilled nursing care-they need custodial care. If skilled care is needed, it is not usually needed for very long, and not many people meet the 72-hour hospital stay requirement anyway. Think about it-if you have a serious illness or injury (for example a hip fracture or bypass operation), you may be in the hospital for several days or weeks, but when you are released you rarely need skilled nursing care. You are far more likely to need help dressing or getting to appointments or cooking your meals, and may not be able to care for yourself and end up in a long-term care facility. But, the care you need is easily given by semi-skilled or unskilled workers-not RNs or other medical staff.

Assuming you need skilled nursing care, Medicare actually does pay for 20 days at 100% and days 21-100 at $128.00/day (more or less, depending on your state). That is nowhere near the average cost of a day in a nursing home or similar facility. Depending on whose statistics you use, a day in a long-term care facility costs $110-$300 or more.

Of course, you could buy a Medicare supplement plan, but that plan only supplements the benefits provided under Medicare. Since Medicare does not cover custodial or unskilled care, a Medicare supplement policy is not likely to be of much help.

So, what can you do? There are a few options.

First, many people will need long-term care, but many more won’t. If your family history doesn’t include stays in long-term care facilities, maybe you don’t need to do anything. But, if your medical condition is not as good as that of other family members, you might be the exception. So, gambling isn’t always a good idea.

If you have a pension, a house, and few other assets, Medicaid may well cover your expenses. It is a good idea to find out before the need arises. Keep in mind not all care facilities accept Medicaid, and those that do may put you in a separate area. And, you are very likely to have a roommate (and it is not likely to be your spouse!).

If you have substantial assets and are prepared to spend them if needed, just make sure you have checked out the various care facilities so your family knows where you want to go.

Finally, if you have significant assets above any pension payments, consider purchasing a long-term care insurance policy. It could be the best investment you ever make. And, in some states the premium may even be tax-deductible.

Each state has somewhat different coverages. It is useful to visit the www.medicare.gov site for complete, state-specific information.

Contact Brian Gruss 509-927-9200 about your options with Medcare and Long Term Care Insurance.

Long-Term Care Insurance: A Multifaceted Protection

Long-Term Care Insurance: A Multifaceted Protection

Child care has historically been America’s number one dependent care concern, but this could be changing in the coming years. Over 77 million American baby boomers are expected to transition into retirement during the next ten years. Experts are predicting that this large aging population will cause the number of individuals in need of long-term care services to double during the next 30 years. In fact, some have estimated that there will be more than 14 million Americans in need of some degree of assistance with their activities of daily living by the year 2035. With these numbers, senior care might soon be the new leading dependent care issue.

The average yearly cost of long-term care is anywhere from $25,000 to $95,000, depending on the area of the country the long-term care services are rendered. Many families find themselves faced with paying for these expensive long-term care services out of their pocket if their loved one is without long-term care insurance. While this can certainly be a financial stressor, money to pay for long-term care services isn’t the only concern when long-term care insurance is absent.

Families facing the out-of-pocket cost of long-term care services will find themselves trying to decide between taking their aging loved one into their own home and personally caring for them -or- finding the funding to pay for a professional caregiver or nursing home bed. Most families that don’t have long-term care insurance to pay for services don’t just have $25,000-$95,000 laying around and will ultimately end up caring for their loved one from home. These families learn quickly that this scenario, especially when combined with the responsibilities of dependent children being in the home, has significant physical, mental, and emotional impacts on everyone in the household.

Caregivers that are also trying to hold a job outside the home will often find conflict between their employment responsibilities and caregiver responsibilities. Most will find the balancing act too difficult and end up quitting or getting fired from their job. The resulting missing income will frequently cause families to find themselves financially struggling, if not drowning.

Caring for an ailing or aged loved one is a full-time 24/7 job in itself. Everyday tasks that were once mundane and almost automatic, such as bathing, eating, dressing, and grooming, suddenly become overwhelming struggles that take a toll on the entire household.

Caretakers often find that they devote so much time to their caretaking role that they tend to neglect their own physical and mental health. The caretaker often abandons healthy eating habits, exercise, and leisure activities as there becomes more and more to do and less and less time to do it within.

Sleep is yet another area of life that often changes. Medical and personal needs of the loved one often require the caregiver to get up multiple times throughout the night. Sleep deprivation has been shown to cause a number of health problems. In fact, multiple studies on long-term caregivers have shown that they have more health problems and a shorter lifespan than those without such responsibilities.

All of the above considered, it shouldn’t be surprising that caregivers suffer from dangerously high levels of stress.

Help Yourself And Your Loved One With Long-Term Care Insurance

Planning ahead now can prevent a lot of stress in the future. Some think of long-term care insurance as an unaffordable luxury, but the price of long-term care insurance is minor compared to the price a caregiver and everyone else in the household often pays with their health and financial stability. While planning for a time when your loved one is no longer mentally or physically able to care for themselves isn’t a fun thought process, it’s vital that you plan for long-term care situations to protect the emotional, physical, and financial well-being of everyone involved.

Since long-term care insurance gives your family the ability to afford expensive professional and semi-professional long-term care, you won’t be worrying about the financial side of things and will be free to focus on your own and your loved one’s emotional issues from the transition.

In summary, the multifaceted protection afforded by long-term care is just too important to the health of your family to overlook. An experienced and reliable financial adviser can help your family design a long-term care plan that’s congruent with both your budget and needs.

— Brian Gruss 509-927-9200


Do the Sexes Differ When It Comes to Their Expectations About Long-Term Care?

Do the Sexes Differ When It Comes to Their Expectations About Long-Term Care?

According to The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging,by the year 2020, 12 million older Americans will need long-term care.  The same study concluded that at age 65, people have at least a 40% risk of requiring care in a nursing home at some point during their lifetime. Despite these staggering statistics, most Americans do not have realistic expectations about long-term care.

The results of a survey that polled a demographically balanced sample of 1,000 adults age 50 and over gave a good indication of what most Americans think about long-term care. The market research firm Matthew Greenwald & Associates conducted the poll at the request of The MetLife Mature Market Institute and AARP Health Care Options. They discovered that when older men and women are asked about becoming disabled and needing daily assistance bathing, dressing, and eating, men’s expectations for how they would be cared for differ from women’s. Men were more likely than women to answer that their spouse or partner would take care of them, and much less likely to respond that their children or stepchildren would become their primary caregiver. They were also less likely to feel that moving in with children would be necessary. Eighty-eight percent of the men chose their partners as the person most likely to be their primary caregiver, as compared with 72% of women.

The study also concluded that 41% of men with children believe their children would become their primary caregiver. However, 55% of women believe their children will be their caregivers. In the same vein, only 26% of men view residing with their children or their spouse’s children as a possibility as compared to 39% of women. These differences in perceptions of children’s roles in long-term care occur only between men and women who are married or living with a partner.

The difference between older men and women in the likelihood of moving in with their adult children is especially significant among Baby Boomers, as almost half of the 50- to 58-year old women believe it is probable they would move in with their children or their spouse’s children. However, when questioned about assisted living facilities and nursing homes, men and women were like-minded. Sixty-four percent of men and 65% of women believe that living in an assisted living facility is possible, while 55% of men and 50% of women felt the same about living in a nursing home.

Among older Americans who are married or living with a partner, 9 out of 10 men and women believe it is likely that they will become their spouse’s primary caregiver if they become disabled. The highest percentage of women who felt this way was found among the 50-to-58 year-olds, with 84% responding affirmatively.

The study found that 43% of men and 38% of women who have children, or whose spouse/partner does, believe it is “very” or “somewhat” likely the children would become their spouse’s primary caregiver.

Understanding the Ever-Growing Costs of Long-Term Care

Understanding the Ever-Growing Costs of Long-Term Care

There are few life expenses that are rising as briskly as the cost associated with health care. Of all health care costs, long-term care (LTC) cost seems to be rising the fastest. For example, the average increase in cost associated with a U.S. nursing home bed has risen about 4.5% per year over the last five years. The median cost of a nursing home bed has increased 5.1% just from 2009 to 2010. Many wonder why LTC costs are rising so rapidly and if there’s any hope for it to level off in the future.

Why LTC Cost Is Rising

A large portion of the general population is aging and aging longer. The average life expectancy has steadily increased over the last three or four decades because of advancements to the sophistication and scope of medical care and treatment. Medical advancement doesn’t come without cost, and as the population ages, advancement costs in the field of medicine are passed along to patients. Another point is that increased life expectancy typically results in an increased duration and level of custodial care for the aged person.

Some research has shown that 80% of lifetime medical expenditures are used during the last 20 years of life.

Medical conditions, diseases, and illnesses that once ended in certain death are now treatable and manageable, but often leave the patient requiring advanced or long-term medical care. For example, advancements in stroke care have resulted in a higher probability of survival, but a stroke is now one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. A stroke patient may need custodial care to help or perform activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, and transferring from one position to another. Even after physical, occupational, and speech therapy, many stoke patients still require semi-skilled to unskilled care to accomplish daily activities.

Another aspect of LTC cost comes from the salary expectations of LTC workers rising faster than inflation. The education and skill level for health care workers has congruently increased alongside the advancements in medical technology and the health care field as a whole. Jobs, like a nursing home aide, that were once only considered a stepping stone to a different medical career path are now a permanent career choice and being monetarily compensated accordingly.

The bottom line is that demographics can’t be changed. Therefore, LTC costs will definitively continue to rise.

The Future of LTC Costs

After understanding why LTC costs are rising and will continue to rise, the next question for most is if there’s anything that can be done to manage the cost of LTC?

First of all, custodial care should be delivered in the most cost-effective environment available. Some tips would include preventative health care and taking good care of oneself during active years, which can postpone and reduce the future need for LTC services; opting for home health care or an assisted living facility vs. a nursing home; and caregivers utilizing adult day care centers for aged parents or grandparents, which still allows the caregiver to work during the day and care for their loved one at night.

Secondly, consider LTC insurance to help manage future LTC expenses and monetary burdens. A LTC insurance policy can be one of the best and most viable solutions to contain LTC cost on an individual level. Most comprehensive LTC insurance policies will generally cover home care, adult daycare, hospice, respite care, assisted living, and so forth that isn’t covered under Medicaid, Medicare, or a private health insurance policy. With LTC insurance, future LTC out-of-pocket expenses are in a manageable range for the policy holder.

Long-Term Care Insurance Protects Much More Than Money

Long-Term Care Insurance Protects Much More Than Money

With 77 million U.S. baby boomers reaching retirement over the next decade, experts say that the number of people in need of long-term care will double over the next 30 years. Some estimate that 14 million Americans will require some form of assistance with day-to-day activities by 2035. Consequently, senior care could soon replace child care as the country’s number one dependent care issue.

The cost of long-term care can range anywhere from $25,000 to $95,000 a year depending on the region. Without long-term care insurance to cover this hefty price, many families end up paying out of pocket and suffering great financial strain. However, money isn’t the only thing at stake for families without long-term care insurance.

Money isn’t everything

Families who are suddenly faced with the unexpected cost of long-term care must make a tough decision: They can either pay the exorbitant price for a nursing home or professional caregiver or take the ailing loved one into their own home.

A great deal of families without long-term care insurance end up caring for their relative at home. Such families often have dependent children in the home in addition to an ailing parent. They quickly learn that caring for an ill loved one has a major emotional and physical impact on everyone in the family.

Physical, emotional and financial impacts

When you take a sick loved one into your home, every day tasks such as eating, bathing, dressing or going to the bathroom become daunting struggles. Plus, caring for an ailing senior is a full-time job—24 hours a day, seven days a week. The responsibilities involved with this undertaking begin to take a toll on the entire family.

Oftentimes, those caring for a sick relative no longer have time to take care of themselves. They abandon healthy eating habits and exercise routines because they simply don’t have time anymore. They also suffer from high levels of stress.

Caregivers often become sleep deprived because they must get up numerous times throughout the night to help their loved one. This can all add up to health problems for the caregiver. As a matter of fact, some studies show that long-term caregivers often have a shorter lifespan and more health problems than other people their age.

Many long-term caregivers end up quitting or losing their jobs. After all, you can only take so many sick days to care for your loved one. Without a job to help pay the bills, many of these families find themselves struggling financially, often sinking deep into debt.

Avoid the strain with long-term care insurance

If you believe that long-term care insurance is unaffordable, just think about the price you and your family could have to pay without it. By planning ahead, you will save yourself and your loved ones from immeasurable amounts of physical, emotional and financial stress.

Planning for long-term care is not an easy task for anyone. Most of us don’t want to think about a time when we or one of our loved ones may need help with simple daily tasks. However, in order to protect your family’s financial and emotional well-being, it’s important to plan ahead for an unexpected long-term care situation.

Having long-term care insurance will greatly lessen the suffering that comes with a long-term illness—for both the caregiver and the patient. That’s because with insurance, your family can afford to place your loved one under professional care. This will allow you to focus on dealing with the emotional issues of having an ailing loved one instead of completely draining yourself by trying to meet their physical needs 24/7.

The first step in protecting yourself from such a painful situation is to talk to Brian Gruss who can help you design a long-term care plan. Brian can walk you through your family’s needs and find an insurance policy that fits your unique situation and budget.