What is Long-Term Care Insurance (LTC)?
This kind of care is different from medical care, because it generally helps you to live as you live now instead of improving or correcting medical problems. People often think of long-term care as strictly nursing home care. Long-term care services actually may include help with activities of daily living, home care, respite care, hospice care or adult day care. This care may be given in your own home, an adult day care facility, assisted living facility, nursing home or hospice facility.
How Long-Term Care Insurance Works
When the need for care first arises, you’ll probably turn to family members or friends. However, your needs may go beyond their ability to help – whether physically or financially. That’s where a long-term care insurance policy comes in. Long-term care insurance allows you to get the care you need in the setting that’s right for you.
How you become eligible for benefits?
You’re eligible to receive benefits from your policy if you are chronically ill and a licensed health care practitioner submits a plan of care prescribing long-term care services. That means you must need help with at least two of the six activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, toileting, and continence) for at least 90 consecutive days. You’re also eligible to receive policy benefits if your certified to need continual supervision due to a severe cognitive impairment.
Partnership Programs Explained
Many states and private insurance companies have partnered to help people plan for long-term care. The insurance companies offer long term care policies that meet criteria specified by each state that participates in the program. In turn, the states agree to provide Medicaid asset protection to people who purchase a partnership-qualified policy.
A partnership-qualified long-term care policy allows people to protect a portion of their assets in the event they need to apply for Medicaid.
The benefits of a Partnership-Qualified Policy
When you purchase a partnership-qualified long-term care policy, you’re not only taking responsibility for your long-term care needs, you’re taking control of what happens to you in the future. With a partnership-qualified policy you’re able to:
Get the Coverage You Need
Your long-term care policy provides the funds to help you pay for the care you need in the setting that’s right for you.
Protect a Portion of your Assets
Should you use all the benefits of your policy and still need long-term care services, you can apply for Medicaid and protect a portion of your assets from the “spend down” requirement, allowing you to have something to pass on to your heirs.
Have a Security of a Safety Net
Even if you never plan to apply for long-term care benefits under Medicaid, you’ll still have peace of mind knowing you have this safety net.
Many people mistakenly believe government programs, like Medicare and Medicaid, will provide all the long-term care services people need. But, it’s not realistic to expect the government to pay for long-term care expenses of every American. That’s why many states encourage their residents to take accountability for their own long-term care needs by purchasing a long-term care insurance policy through a state-sponsored partnership program.
Medicare and Long-Term Care
Generally, Medicare does NOT pay for long-term care services. Instead, it provides limited coverage to help people recover from an illness or injury
- Provides for both “skilled care” and “custodial care,” but generally, only in a nursing home
- Requires assets to be spent down to meet eligibility requirements
Partnership-Qualified Long-Term Care Insurance
- Covers both “skilled care” and “custodial care” in any setting – home, assisted living facility or nursing home
- Provides added protection should you use all the benefits of your policy and need to apply for Medicaid.