Long term care is a real concern for many of our clients. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70% of people aged 65 or older will enter a nursing home for some period of time during their lifetimes.1 Due to this statistic, it is wise to consider how you might pay for long-term care and whether long-term care insurance is a good idea for you.
Cost of Care
Perhaps the first consideration is determining the potential cost of long-term care. Below is a summary of current costs according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
Median costs in the United States:
- $212/day for a semi-private room in a nursing home
- $240/day for a private room in a nursing home
- $3,500/month for care in an assisted living facility (for a one-bedroom unit)
- $20/hour for a home health aide
- $19/hour for homemaker/companion services
With health care costs rising every year, these expenses can be expected to grow substantially over time. Furthermore, neither Medicare nor Medicare supplemental coverage, also known as Medigap insurance, typically cover long-term care. Medicaid will cover a large share of such services but only if you meet stringent financial and functional criteria. What’s more, most employer-sponsored or private health insurance plans follow the same general rules as Medicare. Therefore, most people who need long-term care must pay for some or all of it on their own.
Deciding whether to purchase long-term care insurance will depend on your personal situation. You may want to consider your family health history, your level of assets to potentially pay for long-term care, and your feelings about relying on family members for support. Probing these and other individual circumstance can help you make a well-informed decision.