Many people delay saving for the future because retirement seems so far away. The same mentality often applies when it comes to long-term care insurance: people tend to ignore the possibility that they may one day need long term-care after a long illness, a disability or cognitive impairment as they get older. Below are some common myths and facts about long-term care insurance.
Myth #1: If you lead a healthy lifestyle, you probably won’t need long-term care.
Fact: An astonishing 70% of people over the age of 65 will use some form of long-term care during their lives. The only question is whether they will rely on expensive outpatient care and help from family members, or professional care and services that are covered by a long-term care insurance benefit.
Myth #2: You only need long-term care when you get old.
Fact: While most people who use long-term care are older, it actually applies at any age. Long-term care simply provides help in the form of extended, hands-on care and services for people who cannot take care of themselves. Cognitive impairment issues such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are high on the list, but having an accident or a chronic illness at any age can lead to a disability that requires long-term care.
Myth #3: Long term care is for people who can’t walk or move.
Fact: You don’t need to be bedridden to qualify for long-term care. The benefits will kick in if you are unable to perform two or more Activities for Daily Living, or ADLs. These may include the inability to bathe, dress, eat or use the toilet by yourself, having incontinence, or having severe cognitive impairment. A full list of ADL criteria can be found here.
Myth #4: Medicare or Medicaid will cover your long-term care needs.
Fact: Medicare only covers a subset of long-term care needs, such as when people need skilled assistance with ADLs or rehabilitative care. And while Medicaid covers a larger share of costs and services, it’s only available if your income is below a certain level. Long-term care insurance is meant to provide comprehensive benefits, regardless of your income, your length of long-term care needed, or the severity of your disability.
Should your company be offering long-term care insurance? Contact us to learn more about including this important feature in your benefits package.