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Things You Should Know

  • Medicare only pays for long-term care if you require skilled services or rehabilitative care and Medicare does not pay for non-skilled assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL), which make up the majority of long-term care services. 

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Long Term Care Insurance

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Long Term Care Insurance
Do You Need Long Term Care Insurance

While most, if not all, states offer some kind of state-run long term care facilities, it is almost always a better idea to go for private ones. The catch is that private nursing homes and rehab facilities can be quite expensive. Therefore, it's essential that you prepare for this potential cost before you actually need this type of health care.
Long term care insurance is your best bet for making sure that cost won't keep you from getting the highest level of care in the event of a debilitating illness or catastrophic injury. This is something you should be thinking about right now, no matter what your age. While nursing homes are thought of as being for "old folks," the fact is that an injury can put you into one even if you're only 20, and you may be there for a long time before you recover. Therefore, long term care insurance is not something that only applies to the elderly. This is especially true if you have a riskier lifestyle, such as one that involves sports where head and neck injuries are common.
One thing you can do for your old age in particular is invest in annuities. These are meant to protect against outliving your income. They pay a fixed amount every month or year once they mature. When used as a hedge against post-retirement poverty, annuities are typically timed so that they mature right around retirement age. When you have them, you can rest assured that you'll get a certain amount of income no matter how long you live, at least if you keep the underlying securities intact. Start buying them early enough, and you can end up with great checks once you're a senior citizen.

Long-term care is a range of services and supports you may need to meet your personal care needs. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as:

Other common long-term care services and supports are assistance with everyday tasks, sometimes called Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) including:

  • Housework

  • Managing money

  • Taking medication

  • Preparing and cleaning up after meals

  • Shopping for groceries or clothes

  • Using the telephone or other communication devices

  • Caring for pets

  • Responding to emergency alerts such as fire alarms

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