People do not want to think about needing long term care. Most often, we think of this as an old-age issue. However, injury or illness that takes away your ability to bath or dress may also trigger long term care needs and benefits. Additonally, advances in medicine mean that life is now extended such that the risk goes up of needing to pay for care expenses beyond medical ones.
Does Medicare pay for these needs? In general – NO – because Medicare is a health insurance for acute care … In medical terms, care for acute health conditions is the opposite from chronic (chronic care), or longer term care. Medicaid/Medi-Cal may – however this requires impoverishment in general to qualify. Having a paid plan, through insurance or spending your own resources, also tends to provide more flexibility in care settings than trying to get on the State system.
What is Long Term Care? Simply put: a range of Personal, Supportive, Social, and Physiological services for people who need help with their normal daily activities for more than 90 days. Who pays for these services … YOU … unless you transfer some of the risk to insurance. A well designed plan puts in place a pot of money … ideally designed to keep you home as long as possible. A Partnership plan also integrates with Medi-Cal/medicaid to protect assets from spend down and recovery.
A Long Term Care PLAN also helps transfer the care activities to the care provider from the family to ease physical and emotional costs that go with care responsibilities. Family members can then take on the role of helping to manage the plan rather than exhaust their energies managing daily activities of their loved one.
You may learn more about long term care in California Partnership or the Partnership program in other states (google your state and partnership long term care). The Partnership program may not be suitable for all situations in which case a non-partnership policy design may apply.
You may be thinking of yourself … however, parents and other loved ones should consider this risk too. This is a growing problem across the globe.
Money pays for it … health buys it … age makes it affordable.
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