You have three options when it comes to paying for long term care- Medicare, Medicaid or “private pay” (Paying personally out of pocket or by using long term care insurance previously purchased)
Medicare- U.S. government health insurance for people 65 years of age or older. It provides health care coverage. Medicare also covers those who are severely disabled. Medicare begins after three days of hospital stays. Medicare is also limited to the number of days it will pay for care (up to 100 days). Medicare will pay 100% of the cost for the first 20 days after the first 3 days of hospital stay and then from the 21-100th days a co-pay is required. Thousands of senior citizens have Medicare Supplement policies. Medicare supplements will pay in conjunction with Medicare, but once Medicare stops paying for the care most supplements will not continue to pay either.
If you have exhausted Medicare payments the only other option available is Medicaid and paying out of pocket, (called private pay).
Medicaid- The nation’s public health insurance program is meant for those with low to no income. Medicaid only covers approximately 1 out of every 5 Americans, including those with complex and costly care needs, such as the severely disabled. Obviously this option is not available for everyone. Medicaid is considered a state welfare program and has some very serious limitations in the amount of assets that can be owned and how much income you can receive while still being considered eligible for it. Additionally the federal government has set strict regulations referring to the transfer of assets from an estate to qualify for Medicaid. For a certain amount of time the government is going to look back 7 years and even longer if you have an established estate set.
Private Pay – If you have exhausted all other options there is private pay. This is really only an option if you’ve got money to bleed for years and years without running out. Even large corporation owners and CEOs know how risky choosing to try to pay privately can be. Medical costs and long term care can cost thousands and in some dire cases even a million dollars before you pass away. Paying out of pocket isn’t impossible for everyone though. Some people are lucky enough to get away with it and others die before they ever need nursing home or in home care. Even if you can afford to self pay, you have to ask yourself if that’s where you want to put your money and assets or would you rather leave it for the next generation or be able to spend your money elsewhere when the time comes.
Smartest Option – Long term life insurance and annuity options. Long term care insurance ensures that towards the end of life you won’t have to worry about and stress about financing your needs. Investing in long term life insurance is the best way to invest in your future care needs and this is not only a consumer belief but also suggested by financial experts across the United States. Long term care coverage helps cover the cost of care when you have chronic medical conditions, disabilities, and or disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and reimburses you for care in many ways including cash back to spend on your care in any way you’d like.
Do you want to be placed in a nursing home without any choice of where or how well the home care is or would you rather be able to take charge and make the choice of how you are cared for? Long term care insurance is often the only option that makes those choices your choices to make.