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Common misconceptions about long-term care

Common misconceptions about long-term care

Long-term care is becoming an increasingly important issue across the country. The aging baby boomer population in the United States is approximately 80 million. Thousands of baby boomers a day are turning 65 and this is expected to continue for the next 20 years. As we continue to live longer, millions may face the prospect of needing long-term care.

Misconceptions

Medicare will cover costs associated with a long-term illness.   

Medicare is designed to pay for acute or medically necessary care. Only a small percentage of all long-term care costs are paid by Medicare. The rest of the costs are shouldered by individual savings or, when savings are depleted, Medicaid. Skilled nursing care in a facility can deplete a lifetime of earnings and savings. According to SkilledNursingFacilities.org, the average monthly cost of a stay in a Pennsylvania skilled nursing in facility is $8,790. The average stay per the American Association of Long Term Care Insurance is 2.3 years for males and 2.6 years for women with about 12 percent of residents staying for five or more years.

Long-term care is just nursing home and facility care.

Long-term care is more than nursing home care.  It can include:

  • Home modifications so you can continue to live at home.
  • Having an aide remind you to take necessary medications.
  • Training of a loved one or family member to care for you.
  • Professional care, such as skilled nursing care you may receive at home or in a residential care facility.

Ultimately long-term care is the kind of help you may require because of an accident, prolonged illness, disability or increased frailty make it difficult for you to care for yourself. 

I don’t need long-term care,  my children will take care of me.

This is a common misconception among baby boomers. Today, the truth is many households are dependent on dual incomes and can’t afford to have one earner stay home with a parent. For many children, the responsibilities of a job in addition to caring for his or her parent may not be a possibility. 

Include long-term care protection as a part of your overall financial portfolio to protect not only your personal assets but your family as well.   

 

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