True or False: Common Myths about Long Term Care

Throughout the month of August, Sound Options is focusing the conversation around long-term care, insurance, and the safety nets we build around ourselves as we age. When it comes to long-term care insurance, common myths can muddy the waters and make decisions more difficult than they already are. Today, we bring clarity to the conversation by busting 5 common myths about Long-Term Care Insurance.

Long Term Care Insurance will cover all of my expenses

False. Regular medical expenses are a separate cost not covered by long-term care insurance. Also, when it comes to insurance there are several limits that make up the boundaries of coverage. These will vary from plan to plan. Be sure to ask about the following when comparing plans: 

  • What determines eligibility to receive benefits?
  • What is the lifetime maximum benefit for in-home care, assisted living, nursing facility, etc.?
  • What is the maximum duration of home services or the maximum length of stay in a facility?
  • Does the plan cover mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s and other dementias?
  • Is there a daily limit to what my benefits will pay out?

Chances are I won’t need Long Term Care

False. If you reach the age of 65 there is actually a 70% chance that you will need long-term care services of some type in your remaining lifetime, according to LongTermCare.gov. That is higher than the chances of being in a car accident or having your house burn down, things that we seek out insurance coverage for without even thinking about it. 

People don’t need Long Term Care until they are 85+

False. The truth is that any of us, young or old, could have a sudden need for professional assistance or care in our lifetime. We tend to associate the need for care with advanced age, but the truth is that a variety of circumstances can trigger the need.  

Common Triggers of Long Term Care Needs

  •          Stroke
  •          Dementia such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s (early onset or later in life)
  •          Cancer Treatment
  •          Falls
  •          Recovery from Surgery
  •          Respite Care
  •          Brain Injury
  •          Accident
  •          Disability
  •          End-of-Life Care
  •          Chronic Disease Management
  •          Maculate Degeneration
  •          General Aging

Once I start long-term care services, I will need to continue them for the rest of my life

False. While it is most common to need long-term care services in the last years of life, there are lots of reasons that long-term care can start and stop, ebb and flow as needed. After an accident or surgery, the road to recovery can be painstakingly slow, but the body is an incredible healing machine. Long-term care may only be needed for a period of time. 

I can pay for all my care needs with the money I save from not paying LTC insurance premiums

False. With rising healthcare and long-term care costs, longevity can literally cost a fortune. Given that Medicare does not pay for long-term care and that all assets must be drained in order to qualify for Medicaid, paying a percentage of your assets to LTC insurance can be a way to protect the larger portion of savings.    

It can be difficult to make informed decisions about an unknown future. Sifting through the myths and mazes of elder care can be a tricky process. Sound Options believes in simplifying the way we think about the future. Sit down with us for a consultation and we’ll help you see your options in elder care minus the jargon. The world of healthcare is complicated enough. Your elegant solution awaits. Sound Options. 

Published on August 8, 2014.