Frequently Asked Long Term Care Questions
Schneider & Shulman Associates is here to answer your long term care questions. Below is a list of some of the most common questions we get from clients about Long Term Care Insurance and their easy-to-understand answers.
Q. What is Long Term Care Insurance?
A. Long Term Care Insurance helps those unable to take care of themselves due to a chronic illness or disability.
Q. Doesn’t Medicare pay for Long Term Care?
A. Medicare is designed to pay for short hospital stays. It pays for skilled care and was never designed to pay for custodial care, which is help with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, continence and toileting.
Q. Doesn’t Medicaid pay for Long Term Care?
A. Medicaid is a health insurance program reserved for those who have limited assets and income. Medicaid will pay for Long Term Care under some circumstances, but that care is usually provided in a nursing home setting. And, of course, you must prove that you don’t have the means to pay for care yourself before you can qualify for Medicaid.
Q. Why can’t I just sign over my assets to my children if I become ill so I can qualify for Medicaid?
A. You can sign over your assets in order to qualify for Medicaid. However, when you apply for Medicaid, the state will examine your financial transactions for the past 5 years. This is called the look-back period. If you did give assets away during that time, you will be ineligible to receive Medicaid benefits for a period of time after your application, depending on how much you gave away.
Q. Why should I buy Long Term Care Insurance?
A. The short answer? Choice. The daily dollar benefit will allow you to choose where you receive care, whether it’s in your own home, in an assisted living facility, in an adult day care center or in a nursing home.
Q. What should I look for in a Long Term Care Insurance policy?
A. Good Long Term Care Insurance covers at-home care, assisted living facility care, adult day care, respite care and nursing home care, and it features Alzheimer’s coverage, a premium waiver and a spousal discount.
Q. Will Long Term Care Insurance keep up with the rising costs of health care?
A. You can opt to purchase inflation protection with many policies so that your daily dollar benefit increases each year. This compounding can make a substantial difference in the amount of the benefits when you receive them.
Q. What if I never need Long Term Care?
A. You may never need Long Term Care. But just as you protect your home and car, it’s also important to protect your assets from the incredible costs of Long Term Care. And the peace of mind you’ll get from your Long Term Care Insurance policy is priceless.
Q. Will my premiums increase as I get older?
A. In general, premiums will stay the same each year. If they do increase, it will be for the whole class of policyholders, not because you as an individual have aged or your health has deteriorated.
Q. I’m not in perfect health. Can I still qualify for Long Term Care Insurance?
A. If you are in reasonably good health, can take care of yourself and are between the ages of 18 and 84, you can probably buy Long Term Care Insurance. Age limitations apply only to your age at the time of purchase, not at the time you use the benefits.
Q. Can I get a policy that covers everything?
A. All policies contain limits and exclusions to keep premiums reasonable and affordable. Before you buy, be sure you understand exactly what is and is not covered under a particular policy. Possible exclusions include preexisting conditions, some mental and nervous disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse and care needed after an intentionally self-inflicted injury.
Still Have Questions?
For more information, contact us to speak with a qualified representative about Long Term Care Insurance.