If you’re someone who bought long-term care insurance in the hopes that it was a prudent, financially responsible decision, but have since discovered that prices have gone up while benefits have decreased, you’re not alone. In 2014, 4.8 million people were covered by these types of plans, but it’s not all working out as intended.
An in-depth article by Next Avenue explores this phenomenon. The reality is that people are living longer, which has led to more expenses for insurance companies—and, therefore, reduced benefits for the consumers. The strategy behind long-term care insurance, of course, seemed sound at the time. The costs of nursing home care, even in-house care, can be quite expensive, and this insurance was supposed to help people in the middle class afford this protection.
But premiums for these policies are now so high that many in the middle class—the demographic this was intended to protect—can no longer afford premiums. A 55-year-old woman may need to pay as much as $4,406 a year for the premiums; a man of the same age, not expected to live as long, would still pay an average of $2,309 per year. Many people, the article points out, give up on paying these premiums around the age of 65—right about when they might start needing the care provided.
This has led many to ask," Is long-term care insurance worth the investment?"
Another Option: A Retirement Community Alternative
At a retirement community alternative that allows you to age in place, you will connect with a care coordination team who will help you create a plan that will meet your needs for the rest of your life. This plan will evolve as your needs do, with the goal of supporting and maintaining your lifestyle. Available services include:
- Nutritional support and meals: This can consist of two prepared and delivered meals, or it could mean a caregiver who cooks meals when this service is needed.
- Home health aide services: Needs vary, and these services will meet you where you are. Aides can help with bathing, dressing, feeding, light housekeeping and more.
- Emergency response system: You can find peace of mind with a new, patented GPS technology that permits you to talk to a certified response agent—simply by touching a button.
- Transportation services: Get to medical appointments, grocery shopping and more without stress.
- In-home functional assessment: You’ll periodically receive an assessment focusing on your functioning and safety at home. If adaptations are appropriate, recommendations will be made.
This alternative allows you to have a lifetime guarantee of care at a fraction of the cost of a pay-as-you-go system. Plus, your hard-earned assets will be protected; the burden of care coordination will be lessened for your friends and family; and there are tax deduction opportunities.