Long Term Care

Motley Fool, “Nursing Home Costs May Nearly Bankrupt You Unless You Plan"

June 27th, 2015
Author: Motley Fool
Nursing Homes May Bankrupt You Unless You Plan

A recent article in the Motley Fool Website suggests the cost of extended Long Term Health Care can have a significant impact on your future retirement, perhaps even to the point where you may end up spending down assets and having to use the Medicaid program.

The article, written by Selena Maranjian, says, “ There are many things to look forward to in the future, but there are plenty of things we worry about, too. Many people worry about their health and dread certain potential outcomes, such as becoming unable to care for themselves and perhaps ending up in a nursing home. That alone is an unpleasant thought, and nursing home costs can be another.”

She mentions that nursing homes stays are less today than in the past. This is not, however, due to less people needing extend care. There are just more options than ever before on how to receive that care. More home care options are available in addition to adult daycare and assisted living.

The article suggests that the costs for Long Term Care Insurance has been going up in recent years. However, premiums are affordable at the ages most people start looking into planning. For people in their mid-40’s to age 65, you will find premiums very affordable especially if you are married and in good health.

“Finally, remember that, when you start having trouble caring for yourself, there might be less expensive options than a nursing home, at least for a while. An assisted-living facility might do (Genworth cited a national median annual cost of $43,200 for that), while home health aides cost a national median of about $20 per hour. Twenty hours per week of that would approach $21,000.

It's worth spending some time now thinking about how you would pay for nursing home costs -- or other long-term care costs, for that matter. A little planning now might prevent panic or desperation later,” Maranjian explains.

"When it comes to long term care, the vast majority of care is provided in the home," explains Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), which is a leading consumer advocacy group

The rate for a home health aide averages $21 an hour according to the latest report published by the AALTCI.

"Just over half of all long term care insurance claims start with the policyholder receiving care at home," Slome notes.

"First, that's where most of us would prefer to be as opposed to a nursing home setting and the insurance policy benefits make it possible for people to get that needed care at home."

"People buying long term care insurance today need to understand that having insurance that pays some but not all of the cost is a prudent way to plan," Slome shares. "It's also a way to make this protection very affordable, with a 55-year old paying around $100-to-$130 a month for protection."

Slome advocates the 'Good Better Best approach to long term care insurance planning.

The Association offers free access to a video explain how to reduce the cost. The videos can be found at www.aaltci.org/videos.

Consumers interested in no obligation long term care insurance cost comparisons can call the organization at 818-597-3227 or visit the AALTCI website.

Motley Fool website is: www.fool.com