This Holiday Season, Talk Long Term Care With Your Loved Ones
Time spent with family during the holidays is cherished time for most, especially those who are unable to see each other frequently throughout the year. Something you should take time during the holidays to sit down with your family and address, which was the focus of a recent Forbes article, is your financial standing and future health plans, especially for long term care. The holidays are a great opportunity to discuss your plans and make some important decisions while you are all together.
One of the least addressed health issues in the United States is long term care, which arguably poses the biggest financial threat, especially to those who are unaware of the risk and therefore unprepared for the cost. Statistics show that 7 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 will need long term care, with the average annual cost ranging anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000.
Depending on whether you receive home care or enter an assisted living or nursing home facility, the cost can vary greatly. Regardless of what path you choose, though, the average individual or family cannot afford to suddenly take on this type of expense without making significant adjustments to their regular budget.
Unfortunately, the majority of people are unprepared for the possibility of long term care, which helps explain why Medicaid pays for 40% of all long term care expenses in the United States, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Many are caught off guard by the high costs and end up spending through their assets until the need for care forces them to enroll in Medicaid. Out of pocket spending for long term care accounts for 15% of costs, while private insurance makes up only 7% of spending on long term care services and supports.
Don’t Avoid the Subject
It’s important that families sit down and discuss the implications of a situation like long term care. Establishing a financial plan will help avoid a great deal of stress and confusion in the future, should you ever be faced with a care situation.
Too many people avoid talking about long term care because it can be uncomfortable, but it will be even more difficult if you haven’t made any plans and are suddenly faced with the need for care, whether it is for you or for your aging parents. 9 in 10 people receiving long term care in the United States get their assistance from loved ones like family and friends, who provide unpaid care. Avoiding the situation of an unpaid caregiver may be as simple as discussing these issues ahead of time.
The emotional stress that comes along with making long term care decisions at the last minute can be overwhelming and cause significant disagreements, and tension often increases when family members are suddenly responsible for providing care. It’s easy to let emotions get in the way of rational decisions, especially when you are dealing with people you love dearly.
A Neutral Voice
If you have taken the time to invest in long term care insurance, it’s likely your plan includes a Care Coordinator. Your Care Coordinator helps you identify the specific needs of the long term care claimant and develop a plan of care by providing a neutral voice in the decision making process. For those who have assets to protect and can afford the premiums, long term care insurance helps ensure you aren’t faced with the full price of care and shields your retirement portfolio from the potentially devastating costs.
Read more about the caregiving crisis that is currently facing America and how to best prepare for the rising cost of long term care across the nation. If you are interested in a policy, fill out this form and we will send a free personalized comparison of the top long term care insurance companies for you to review.