While many of us envision living out our senior years comfortably in our homes, it’s important to have a plan B in case the need for assisted living or long-term nursing care arises. An assisted living community is a great option for seniors who require assistance with everyday tasks, have mobility issues, require medical monitoring, or want more options for socialization.
With that said, we’ve all heard stories about how expensive long-term care can be especially when you’re not prepared. The key here is to start thinking about it well before you actually need it.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways your family can make long term care more affordable, while also ensuring a financial legacy can pass to family. Here are some things to consider.
- Understanding what costs Medicare and Medicaid will cover. At 65-years-old, Medicare and Medicaid may be able to cover some long-term care costs, however it’s important to know the difference between the two and how they can apply to your unique situation. For example, Medicare will cover long-term costs only if a doctor prescribes rehabilitation or 24-hour skilled nursing care.
On the other hand, Medicaid can cover a wider range of long-term care options, but this varies by state. Furthermore to qualify you must meet income and asset thresholds that are subject to a five year look-back.
- Think about the timeframe when you or a loved one might need services. Nobody can tell the future, especially when it comes to you and your family’s health. It’s an unwelcome thought to have — you do not want to think about yourself or a loved one falling ill. That’s why it’s so important to have a solid care plan in place ahead of time.
Even if you and your family are generally healthy, it’s better to be safe than sorry and opt for a senior community with a continuum of care. Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) offer this through a full range of living experiences from Independent Living apartments to 24/7 skilled nursing care. This means that you can evolve from a living experience that is independent to one that requires more services, without changing your address!
- Consider a community that is a certified CCRC. A Continuing Care Retirement Community like Bristol Glen is a retirement community that offers a continuum of aging care needs, such as independent living, assisted living, memory care, and long-term care. This means you won’t have to worry about moving your parents again, no matter what happens. Furthermore, CCRCs usually offer a few different entrance fee plans.
- Long-term care insurance. What’s great about long-term care insurance is that it covers care costs that health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid will generally not cover. You must pay into this insurance monthly well before you need long-term care. It’s also important to note that long-term care insurance companies make their money because most people don’t maintain their monthly premiums. Not to mention, some companies even raise monthly premiums over time.
With that said, it’s a good idea to request information on each company’s premium rate history and policy limits before making a decision. If this type of insurance is a viable option for you and your family, recognizing the commitment involved in keeping up with monthly payments is critical.
Research Long-Term Care Options Before Making a Final Decision
We understand that the costs associated with long-term care can be overwhelming. That’s why we recommend doing lots of research way ahead of schedule. Important decisions require careful thought and consideration. When you’re rushed, rash decisions can leave you feeling regretful, or worse: in debt. We also recommend speaking with friends and family who have experience with longterm care. Their advice can be very valuable and there are often things you only learn once you’ve gone through the experience firsthand.
Original content published: https://umcommunities.org/assisted-living/ways-to-prepare-for-long-term-care-costs/