TAKE TIME TO LOOK INTO PURCHASING LONG TERM HEALTH INSURANCE

MEDICARE DO NOT pay for long term in home health care nor do many of the insurances. Many people learn this when they are in need of long term home care. Although medical insurance and Medicare offer many other services and benefits, in home care is not one of them!! You must have Medicaid or be Medicaid qualified for long term in home care or have Long Term Health Insurance!! Most do not qualify for Medicaid, so unless you want to be paying out of pocket should you ever need long term in  home care, then it is wise to invest in long term care medical insurance. It  is a worth while investment, as we have seen over and over again clients opting to stay in their home instead of a nursing home...only to find out that they do not have the coverage they thought they had to do it!  Be prepared!!

Medicaid and long term health insurances pay for  long term in  home care NOT Medicare!. If you don't qualify for Medicaid, then Long Term Health Insurance is a worthy investment.  Please click on LEARN MORE button to get FREE booklet,and check out NYS LONG TERM CARE PARTNERSHIPS AND POLICIES as well as click on the buttons below for other information!!



"Planning for Eldercare" Articles


Choosing Home Care Services That Meet Your Needs
March 9, 2011

Making the decision to hire a home care service to provide care for your loved one is an important decision and can, at the same time, be very difficult. If an illness or recovery from surgery requires nursing care or physical therapy, a physician may order skilled home care services that provide both skilled providers and personal aides. Your decision is then based on the obvious medical determinations made by the doctor. But what if you as the family caregiver must determine the extent of care needed without the help of a doctor?

Each home care situation is unique. In the beginning, family or friends step in to help with simple tasks and support for aging seniors who want to stay in their homes. As long term care needs progress, more time is required to manage those needs. Physical and mental conditions change with aging making usually routine hygiene and daily living activities difficult for an aging individual. Even with the healthiest of seniors, the ability to drive a car, shop for groceries or do general housekeeping eventually needs to be relinquished to the responsibility of another person.

In one example, Karen, would stop by her parents' home on her way to work every morning and again on her way home from work in the evening. She checked in the morning to see that they were up and ready for the day and Karen would take a shopping list for things they needed. In the evening she delivered the needed items she had purchased during her lunch break and sometimes she fixed a meal when one was not prepared by her mother. This worked well until Karen began to notice her father did not shave or dress during the day and both parents were forgetting their medications. Karen felt more time and supervision was needed in their care but with her own family and job, she could not do it. Non-medical or personal home care services would be a good option for Karen to consider.

Before starting your search for a non-medical or personal home care company, determine what the care needs are and how much time each week will be required for assistance from the company. You may want to consult with the family physician and other family members as well as experienced social workers or care managers to determine needs. Most home care companies, as well, will help you do an assessment at no charge. With your care needs in hand, you are ready to begin your search.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (http://www.nahc.org/home.html) gives the following guidelines and checklist in searching for a home care company.

  • How long has this provider been serving the community?
  • Does this provider supply literature explaining its services, eligibility requirements, fees, and funding sources? Many providers furnish their home care clients with a detailed "Patient Bill of Rights" that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the providers, clients, and family caregivers alike.
  • How does this provider select and train its employees? Does it protect its workers with written personnel policies and malpractice insurance? Does it protect clients from theft or abuse by bonding its employees?
  • Does this provider assign supervisors to oversee the quality of care clients are receiving in their homes? If so, how often do these individuals make visits? Who can the client and his or her family members call with questions or complaints? How does the company follow up on and resolve problems?
  • What are the financial procedures of this provider? Does the provider furnish written statements explaining all of the costs and payment plan options associated with home care?
  • What procedures does this provider have in place to handle emergencies? Are its caregivers available on notice?
  • How does this provider ensure client confidentiality?

If a home care company has not previously been recommended to you, ask for a list of previous clients and call for their experience with this provider.

Following up on these guidelines can help you determine the quality of personal care that is given. Many states license non-medical home care companies and require both legal and health standards to be maintained.

Read about individual home care companies in your area on the National Care Planning Council's website www.longtermcarelink.net.

"Planning for Eldercare" Articles


Working with Elder Parents in Planning Financially for their Long Term Care
January 7, 2011

You may be taking care of elderly parents now or looking at that possibility in the near future. According to a report from USATODAY/ABCNews/Gallup Poll, 41% of baby boomers are helping take care of elderly parents by providing personal help or financial assistance or both.

If financial planning and long term care planning have not been done previous to the need for care, the burden falls on the caregiving family member. Decisions about how care will be paid for, who will be responsible for managing the estate as well as how the long term care will be given can cause stress and contention among family members.

It is best for parents and all family members to be involved in planning for future financial needs.  The financial resources being used today could change drastically with the occurrence of a stroke, illness or onset of dementia. In order to plan financially for long term care, you need to know what the costs are now and what they will be in the future.

Every year MetLife does a survey of long term care costs. Their 2010 survey shows that the average daily rate for private nursing home is $229 which is up from $219 in 2009. Assisted living monthly base rate cost rose to $3,293 in 2010 from $3131 in 2009. Home health aids average $21 an hour.

Planning financial needs can be very difficult, considering you do not know when long term care will be required or how long it will be needed. You can determine what will be needed in certain living situations. Staying in your home for care will require Professional Home Care assistance, travel accommodations to doctor appointments, help with shopping, meals, medical supplies and medication and possibly a 24-hour attendant. Even if a family member is doing most of the care, eventually professional care will be required or a move to a nursing home facility will be necessary.

When evaluating your present income and assets consider how they would work for future needs.

  • What are my care options?
  • What type of long-term care can I afford?
  • Do I have long term care insurance?
  • Are there assets I can sell?
  • If I stay at home how will I pay for care?
  • Do I have to sell the house to pay for other living arrangements?
  • Are there other financing alternatives?
  • Do I have life Insurance or the means to pay for a funeral and burial?
  • Will my spouse be cared for financially?
  • Should I do Medicaid planning?
  • Do I have the legal documents that may be needed?

An article by Thomas Day, Director of the National Care Planning Council, titled “Paying the Cost of Care,” reviews some of the financial options that can be used.

“Tangible assets that might produce enough income to pay for long term care might include investment property such as rentals, commercially leased property, land, a farm, second home or a business..."

"Some individuals are heavy into real estate and short on cash. If the intent was to cash out of the investment at some future point, then a sale is warranted. But, it seems a shame to sacrifice in early years to establish an investment only to throw it away to long term care. It would make more sense to use income from the investments to buy long term care insurance."

Long term care insurance is one option for paying for care. Long term care insurance helps pay for the care you need when you can no longer care for yourself. It can protect your family's financial future and your own investments. There are qualifications that need to be met with health and age. This type of insurance is more expensive the older the person and almost impossible to get if age related illness has already occurred.

Senior Financial PlannersElder Law Attorneys and Veteran Benefits Consultants can assist you in evaluating your needs and future planning.

Senior Financial Planners are expert in working with seniors and their families to set up long term care plans.  They usually work with an Elder law Attorney and Care Manager (Professional) to give you all options and resources for care.

Elder Law Attorneys help with Medicaid Planning and Asset protection as well as legal documents needed for final requests.

If staying in your home is a desired option, a Reverse Mortgage can supply the funds to pay for home care.

Another option for veterans who served during a time of war is the Aid & Attendance Benefit.  This benefit provides extra income up to $1,949 to help pay for home care, assisted living and medical costs. It will also pay for widows or widowers of the Veteran. To learn more about qualifications for these benefits contact a Veteran Benefit Consultant in your area.

Knowing your needs and financial resources is paramount before making any long term care decisions. Working together, both parents and family members can ease the stress and burden of elder care needs.