What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

by : Peter Kenny

As people begin to live longer, long-term care insurance becomes more important. Care insurance helps provide for the cost of long-term care which can be incredibly expensive. It is used to cover those issues that are generally not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.

There is often some confusion about what this type of insurance is used for and the people who use it. Consumers should understand that individuals who require long care are generally not sick in the way we usually think of that word. Many of these individuals are healthy but they cannot perform the basic activities of daily living such as preparing food, eating, dressing themselves, bathing, and the like. They may need assistance with their medications, as some will often forget to take them.

Another issue that may confuse some people is that this type of care does not have to be long term. An individual may need care for only a few months to recover from surgery or illness, or they may need care for years.

It is generally assumed that as a person becomes older there will be some need for care. In America, Medicare will not cover the expenses of long-term care, but Medicaid will for those who can not afford to pay.

Another issue that is confusing is that long-term care is not restricted to the elderly. Age is not always a factor with long-term care. Younger people who are not able to care for themselves have these needs as well.

When thinking of buying this type of insurance it is important to remember that in the United States, Medicaid generally does not cover care provided in a home setting, and, in most cases, Medicaid will not cover or pay for assisted living. Because there is this void in coverage, having long care insurance can play a huge part in what the individual can have in terms of care related services.

With this protection, care insurance can pay for home care, often from the first day it is needed. It can help pay for a live-in caregiver, companion, housekeeper, therapist or private duty nurse up to 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Assisted living is paid for by long care insurance. The same is true for adult daycare, respite care, hospice care, and more.

Very important to some consumers is that this type of care insurance can also assist with the payments for caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.

One of the very best reasons for purchasing care insurance is that it helps to protect the savings of the person or persons who will be responsible for paying the bills. Long-term care without insurance can wipe out a lifetime of savings in no time at all. It can also force individuals to liquidate many, if not all, of their assets including homes.

Modern technology is allowing us to live longer but we all need to be prepared for the days when we can no longer make it through the day without some help. Care insurance can be a very useful and effective way to solve that problem.