Here’s How You Can Get Solid Long-Term Care Insurance Information
The Department of Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has come forth with a new kit called "Own Your Future: Planning for long-term care." I received my pamphlet because the state where I live is one that has hopped on board and is including a state-specific insert. They are actively mailing pamphlets with an attached post card you can send in to get a free kit.
I sent my postcard in and found out that this is well worth a little trouble. Whether you as a caregiver will find this useful for the person you are caring for is doubtful. Most people over a certain age and with health issues will not be able to get coverage unless they are in an employer group, which is unlikely if your elder has dementia. However, you as a caregiver may be watching everything your parents work for drain away for what seems like a small amount of care.
So, my reason for writing about long-term care insurance and this program on OurAlzheimers is that this is one of those things you need to do for yourself. You maybe aren't one of the people who should buy coverage. But you should look at the guidelines thorough a clear looking glass, not one smudged up by a salesperson.
"Own Your Future" can be obtained on the Web, as well. Just visit www.longtermcare.gov/campaign. Alternately, you can call (866) 752-6582. TTY users should call (800) 752-5605.
I thought, when my kit arrived, that the CD which comes with the brochure would be just a re-run of the pamphlet, but it is not. On the CD, you hear stories of real people and the decisions they made and why they made them. Many of us shouldn't buy long-term care insurance. If we don't have enough assets, we can't afford it in the first place, and there's nothing to protect. Very wealthy people don't need the insurance, as they can pay nursing home costs, or in-home care or assisted living without any problem. It's the people in between that have important decisions to make.
There are many different policies that have different levels of coverage, from just nursing home coverage to in-home care and more. You are bound to find many insurance companies willing to sell you a policy, but be careful. Some education I received from an agent that works with our state legislature, is that you should find an insurance agent that is certified to sell eligible Partnership Plans. These agents have gone through training to know what works best with our Medicaid system, and you can trust their help. That's a tip to remember. Ask questions.
The CD included in your kit suggests that if you are over 45, you would do well to talk with a financial planner about long-term care insurance. I would also ask this person about the long-term care Partnership Plans. He or she should be able to explain to you how the recommended policy will work with Medicare, or send you to someone who can.
Not too long ago, long-term care policies had a deserved black eye, as so many old policies were full of loopholes. Now, the government wants people to buy them, and good policies abound. Uncle Sam wants this badly enough that if you do get a good insurance policy, you will be able to protect some of your assets for your heirs, should you need to go on Medicaid. However, this is complicated business, which is why you need to be very careful when you purchase a policy. That's why the government put the Partnership Plans into place.
Take care of yourself for a change. Go onto www.longtermcare.gov/campaign and download or order a kit. Read things over carefully, listen to the CD, and maybe talk to a trusted financial advisor. Doing so may keep your assets from being eaten up by your nursing care when you are the age your elder is now.