Paying for Long Term Care

The majority of baby boomers have not planned accordingly for long-term care expenses and mistakenly believe they have the resources to cover such care. According to a survey released earlier this week by America‰Ûªs Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) among boomers nearing or at age 60, only 25% say they are ‰ÛÏvery familiar‰Û with long-term care insurance. About 30% of boomers think they have long-term care coverage, but only about 5.2 million Americans actually are covered, AHIP reports. Nearly 70% of Americans have not made any plans for their own, a spouse‰Ûªs or another relative‰Ûªs long-term care needs, even though more than half those surveyed have had a loved one who needed some form of long-term care, according to a recent survey from Genworth Financial. One year of long-term care in a private nursing home room in 2007 cost an average of $74,806 nationally. Home care, which is how the vast majority of long-term care is provided, costs an average of $52,977 per year. At least 44% of Americans incorrectly believe that Medicare pays for long-term care. It only pays if you are hospitalized and then are discharged to a care facility from that hospitalization and then it only covers a certain amount of days. Your health insurance doesn‰Ûªt cover it either. So unless you buy long-term care insurance you will rely on your own assets until they are depleted and you can apply for Medicaid. The good news, more than 90% of employers offering long-term care insurance are ready to help pay for the benefit, according to study issued by Unum earlier this week. However not all employees offer this benefit. As we keep stressing more of the burden of healthcare is falling on the consumer‰Ûªs shoulders. Pay attention to this and prepare now for your golden years.