While just 50 years ago the average life expectancy was 62.5 years, today that number has risen to 78.2 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. More Americans are heading into their senior years than ever before, which means the need to make the right decisions regarding elder care is essential.
According to retirement income specialist, Steve Casto, author of “Is Your Retirement Headed in the Right Direction?” there are important questions and answers to consider before making critical decisions about a long-term care plan.
Casto says one of the most common issues is often the difference between what you think you’ll need and what you can actually afford. He offers the following questions and answers to help guide elder-care decisions:
Q. Should I opt for nursing-home or in-home care insurance?
A. When selecting insurance plans, protect against your worst risk first. In-home care is more about maintenance, while care outside the home is focused on crises. Home care is good for when a person needs help getting around. If you had a stroke, however, you’d need to be cared for outside the home initially, so there is a need for both.
Q. What should I select as my daily allowance?
A. If your health deteriorates, a daily allowance of $100 per day could cover all your care outside the home, but only a third of the care inside the home. Your home-care costs could rocket to more than $400 or more per day, so plan for the worst.
Q. What is an elimination period?
A. Sometimes referred to as the “waiting” or “qualifying” period, this refers to the length of time between the beginning of an injury or illness and receiving benefit payments from an insurer. With long-term care, the typical elimination period is 90 days, which means you are responsible for covering the first 90 days of care on your own. Most people believe that Medicare covers the first 90 days, which is incorrect. It only covers it under certain conditions, and not all patients meet those conditions, which include:
- A nursing home stay that follows a three-day hospital stay
- Admission to a nursing home within 30 days of hospital discharge
- A Medicare-certified nursing home
- Physician-certified need for skilled care on a daily basis
You might want to consider being insured through a long-term care policy for that first 90 days.
If you need a good referral for Long Term insurance, give us a call at 775-432-6300.