Q&A on long-term care insurance

DATE | 06/07/21
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Eileen Dunn, Geriatric Care Manager at Associates of Clifton Park, answers some of your questions about long-term care insurance.

If my dad had long-term care insurance, could he have stayed home? He paid for his home care for three years, then ran out of money and had to go to a nursing home. 

One of the best benefits of long-term care insurance is the ability to stay in your home. Having to pay the full cost of care out of pocket often means depleting your savings. Having long-term care insurance provides that buffer to keep you in your own home or the ability to pay for an assisted living facility and avoid a nursing home.

Can I be paid to be a caregiver to my parents?

There are some policies that allow you to pay “independent caregivers” to provide care.

My mother has been on a waiting list at a nice nursing home and she has almost $100,000 in assets. They told us there is a six month waiting list, and now she is having to use her savings to pay for care at home. My neighbor’s mother went on the waiting list AFTER my mother and only had to wait a few weeks before she got in. My neighbor said her long-term care insurance helped speed up the process. Is that correct?

That is correct. Nursing homes are a business. When a bed becomes available, they are looking at who can be “self-pay” the longest. They don’t get the same amount of money for a Medicaid patient as they do a self-pay patient, so a person with a long-term care policy is more desirable because they will self-pay longer. They don’t necessarily have to take whoever is next on the list.

We were told long-term care costs a lot of money up front. Is that true?

There are policies that allow you to pay a one-time “lump sum” up front. However, there are also policies that allow flexible payment options such as paying over 10 years. Many people like the idea of paying a lump sum and others prefer to pay annually. They can be designed to fit your needs.

Learn more about long-term care insurance

Schedule a phone consultation with Eileen (opens to new website).