10 REASONS TO PLAN NOW FOR LONG-TERM HEALTH CARE
The urgent need for a "short-term decision" on long term healthcare.
1) NO COVERAGE- Health Insurance that pays doctor and hospital bills usually does not pay for a nursing home or healthcare at home.
2) YOUNG VICTIMS- While generally thought of as a policy for "older people," consider middle- aged - or even young persons - who have an accident or debilitating illness.
3) GROWING NUMBERS- Right now about 7 million men and women over 65 need long term care. As people live longer, the number will increase - an estimated 9 million by 2005 and an estimated 12 million by 2020.
4) 40% BY AGE 65- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that people reaching 65 face at least a 40% lifetime risk of entering a nursing home - about 10% of them for 5 years or more.
5) MEN AND WOMEN- Women currently live longer than men - they face a 50% greater chance than men of entering a nursing home after 65.
6) $36,000-$70,000 A YEAR- At current rates, a year in a nursing home averages $36,000 - in some regions it can be double the cost.
7) AT HOME CARE- Even part-time, at-home assistance can easily cost $1,000 a month or more - plus skilled help (therapists, etc.).
8) FORGET MEDICARE- You cannot count on Medicare, Medicaid or even Medicare Supplement insurance. Rarely, if ever, will even an average stay be completely covered.
9) THREATENED SAVINGS- Many people who start paying for nursing home care find their life savings threatened when on or both spouses require care.
10) DONT COUNT ON LIFE INSURANCE- While some life insurance policies offer long term healthcare benefits, usually this affects the amount left for the beneficiary.
COST & COVERAGES
It all depends upon your age - and the coverage you choose. For example, an "average per-day" nursing home benefit for 4 years, with a 20-day deductible, a 50-year old might pay $400 a year, while a 65-year old pays well over a thousand dollars, and a 79-year old might pay 4 times that much. "Inflation adjustments" will increase premiums, while "extended waiting periods," will decrease cost. Bottom line, the earlier you sign up, the less youll pay - and usually, premiums dont increase with age. Most policies are available to those between 50 and 84 years of age.
AN IMPORTANT CHECKLIST
This is what you must know to make "a smart buy." If you are reviewing a policy or proposal, check off each of these items for which you know the answer. Before signing on, make sure you have all of the information.
[ ] Service Covered? (Nursing Home/ Home Care/ Adult Daycare/ Alternate Care/ Respite Care)
[ ] Payment Per Day? (Each of above)
[ ] Benefits Period? (Nursing Home/ At Home)
[ ] Maximum Lifetime Benefit? ( Nursing Home/ At Home)
[ ] Maximum Length of coverage? (Nursing Home/ At Home)
[ ] Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion?
[ ] Waiting Periods? (Nursing Home/ At Home)
[ ] Mental/ Nervous Disorders Covered?
[ ] What Does Policy Require? ( All Conditions)
[ ] Policy Guaranteed Renewable?
[ ] Average For Enrollment
[ ] Waiver of Premium Provision
[ ] Length of Confinement Prior to Waiver?
[ ] Non Forfeiture Benefit?
[ ] Inflation Adjustment Feature? (All Cost/ Time Periods Disclosed)
[ ] Cost of Policy? (Per Year/ Per Month/ With-Without Special Features)
[ ] 30 Day "Free Look" Available
BEFORE YOU BUY CHECK WITH: The American Health Care Association (Washington D.C.) National Association for Insurance Commission (Kansas City, MO) United States Health Cooperative (Washington D.C.) OR CHECK WITH US!
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