Long term care (LTC) policies, Medicare, and Medicaid: which among the three options provide the most coverage for your care needs? Let’s discuss each type to help you find the right support for your impending care needs.
LTC needs are just around the corner for many baby boomers transitioning into retirement. However, not many from this generation are financially secured and prepared for the expenses. Many mistakenly think that their loved ones are well-equipped to provide the care that they need or that their finances are more than enough to pay for the care on top of the other retirement costs. These later prove to be expensive mistakes to make, especially with the current long term care situation.
This is why baby boomers must weigh the different long term care planning options efficiently to determine which fits their needs, budget, and circumstances perfectly. To help boomers in deciding, let’s explore the three most popular choices for care coverage:
LTC policies are insurance products specifically designed to cover LTC expenses. Instead of relying on their own savings and assets, this option allows baby boomers to build a separate fund over time for their care needs. Through the various inflation protection features, these policies help their money keep up with the increasing costs of care services in the country. This also helps lessen the risk of running out of funds to pay for the services.
Moreover, LTC insurance policies provide features that allow married couples potential access to more benefits at a lower price. Insurance companies offer Shared Care, which allows couples to become riders in each other’s plan. Although this varies from each company, the general concept is that couples get to share a pool of benefits that they can access if their own policies have run out. So instead of purchasing longer and more expensive individual policies, they can cut costs by opting for plans with the Shared Care feature.
To learn more about this type of coverage, feel free to refer the baby boomer’s guide to shopping for LTC policies. Bear in mind that each policy is uniquely catered to the individual’s needs, so it would be better to personally consult with an insurance specialist to get the full scope.
Medicaid is a federal and state program designed to provide financial assistance to impoverished individuals dealing with health conditions and limitations. It covers a large portion of LTC costs, which includes care received in facilities and at home. However, keep in mind that this program can still be limiting despite the coverage it provides.
Moreover, individuals would have to fit strict financial and functional criteria. This means that middle-class baby boomers with a few savings and assets tucked away would have to use these up in order to qualify for coverage. Bear in mind that this is not as simple as transferring money to children in order to qualify. Medicaid pays particular attention to these situations and imposes penalties on those who transfer assets without receiving fair value in return. The penalty is a certain timeframe when the person will not be considered eligible for coverage.
Medicare is a federal program that provides coverage for hospital and medical expenses incurred by people 65 and older, younger individuals with certain disabilities, and people with late-state kidney failure.
Medicare does not cover many LTC expenses. However, 4 out of ten respondents to a recent AARP survey mistakenly believe so. The program only covers up to 100 days of skilled nursing care for each health condition. Baby boomers must also seek services in a Medicare-approved facility within 30 days of a hospital stay that lasted at least three days. Moreover, the program does not cover the expenses of individuals who move into nursing homes indefinitely as well as care received in assisted living or adult day care.
Finding for coverage for LTC requires a great deal of work. However, meticulous planning is necessary in finding the best type of coverage. Baby boomers must remember that what works for one individual may not work for the other, so they need to invest time, effort, and finances to secure the coverage that they need.
To help in finding the best method, baby boomers must consult with the professionals. From LTC insurance specialists to financial planning, seek advice from those who know how the business works.