If there is one thing in life we can guarantee...

It is we all get older every day. As life expectancy increases Americans face the prospect of requiring long term care, assisted living or some form of Medicare in their senior years.
Research reveals that 70 percent of people over 65 will need long term care services at some point in their lifetime. There is a huge amount of information available about Medicare but as Laura Michaels from assisted living today rightly says ” much of it is often confusing or incorrect.

Additionally, the reliable information can sometimes be hard to find”.

Laura is putting together a resource guide for seniors regarding Medicare and hopes that this will give senior citizens and their families access to reliable, up-to-date information quickly and in a format that is easy to understand. For more information you can contact Laura on lauramichaels@assistedlivingtoday.com or via the assisted living website.

Of course it is not just seniors who require long term care or assisted living and it is estimated that around 40% of people currently in receipt of care are aged between 18 years and 64 years old.

The cost of nursing homes, assisted living and long term care is staggeringly high and rising and it is important that we make adequate financial planning in case we require any or all of these services.

Long Term Care Insurance

  • Long term care insurance is one way to ensure that you are fully covered for assisted or full time care but the policies are often expensive and many providers are dropping out of the market or increasing premiums.
  • The American Association of Long term Care Insurance estimate that the cost of insurance for a single person aged over 55 is around $2000 per year for a single person and $2400 per year for a couple.
  • The insurance Industry is always seeking to reduce its risks and the cost of long term care is increasing every year. For some the cost is becoming unaffordable and many companies are now looking for alternatives to long term care insurance.
  • You can compare the cost of care in different US states on https://www.genworth.com. Genworth also offer options to help families facing increasing cost of long term care.

Alternatives to Long – term Care Insurance

The Chairman of the Life Foundation Deb Newman says that “today more than 85% of care is received outside of nursing homes”. The cost of receiving care at home is much less than nursing home or assisted living care and insurance costs are also reduced.
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, a number of “experts” were asked “Should People Buy Long-Term-Care Insurance?
For Alicia Munnell director of the Centre for Retirement Research at Boston College, there is a need for a new Innovative Alternative to Long Term Care particularly for middle Income Americans.
“Rich people and poor people don’t need long-term-care insurance” she states. “Poor people can turn to Medicaid. Rich people can self-insure. So the question comes down to those in the middle……..In my view, the solution is to construct a new type of product, one that insures against long stays in nursing homes.
For example, middle-income individuals would be responsible for paying for the first year or two and the insurance would kick in thereafter. This type of catastrophic coverage would be cheaper and could be paid for with a lump-sum payment upfront so that neither the provider nor the purchaser would have to worry about paying premiums. Long-term-care insurance is certainly an area where we need innovation”

What are the costs of Long Term Care Insurance?

The cost of Long Term Care Insurance varies depending on a number of factors including:

  • Your age at the time of purchase
  • The policy type
  • The coverage you select


Planning for Long Term Care

As a general rule, like other Life and Medical Insurance premiums, the younger you are when you purchase the policy the lower the cost and it is important to plan ahead for your future to ensure you and your family have adequate financial cover should you, your spouse or your children require long term care at any time during their lives.
The US department of Health and Human Services provide an excellent source of information on their website covering all aspects of long term care. http://longtermcare.gov/

More Information on Long Term Care & Assisted Living both for seniors and younger people can be found on the following websites: