Millions of Americans have been admonished through the years to plan for their retirement. Many companies have developed 401(k) plans and will even match contributions with their employees as a benefit to help attract and retain valuable team members. While planning ahead is important, not many actually consider the cost of long-term care, which can often include home care support.
Numerous families have found themselves in difficult financial circumstances when an aging parent or grandparent suddenly faces a serious health issue. An extended hospital stay followed by a nursing home visit could extend far beyond what Medicare or Medicaid or even other private insurance companies will cover. These costs can completely deplete savings and even require an individual to sell their home or take a reverse mortgage just to maintain some level of integrity, safety, and quality of life.
Home care is a far more cost-effective option, though, yet few people take the time to sit down and contemplate what might happen in the event they require long-term care at some point during their Golden Years. As mentioned in the USA Today article, Cost of nursing home care makes planning ahead crucial for financial security, written by Tamara Holmes:
“When it comes to planning for long-term care, time matters. If you wait too long, long-term care insurance may no longer be an option since you can be denied because of health conditions.
“You can’t get long-term care insurance after a certain age – generally about 75,” says Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. Premiums are also higher the older you apply so the ideal time to apply is between 55 and 65, Slome says.
There’s another reason why it pays to plan early.
“We’re seeing an increase in illnesses coming on at an earlier age,” says Jennifer Johnson, clinical director of CareScout, a Genworth subsidiary that helps families find care for their older loved ones. The average age of long-term care recipients in 2018 was 66, according to Genworth’s 2018 Beyond Dollars study.”
Long-term care insurance is a topic not many Americans are even aware about. Home care may very well be the most cost-effective option available, but for growing numbers of families and individuals, struggling to make ends meet each year, there is little left over for saving. Still, for those who are planning for retirement and investing in their future, a long-term care insurance policy may help them cover extended home care support services.
Providing some basic information could be a valuable marketing tool for some home care agencies these days.