Choosing Better Insurance Coverage

Few things are more important than having the right insurance coverage. About ten years ago, I was involved in a near-fatal crash where I experienced traumatic physical and emotional injuries. It was really challenging for me to endure the hospital stay and subsequent physical rehabilitation, but with the help of my medical team and my insurance company, I was able to overcome the challenge and completely recover. This blog is all about the importance of choosing the right insurance plan so that you can get on with your life and enjoy those precious years with your family and your friends.

Enrolled In Medicare? Should You Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance Coverage?

Insurance Blog

If you've recently enrolled in Medicare health insurance, you may still be adjusting to the variety of policies -- and supplements -- available to cover just about all of your healthcare needs. However, one type of insurance missing from this array of choices is long-term care coverage. Although your Medicare policy will cover certain types of long-term hospital treatment and even hospice care, nursing home care coverage is unavailable through the federal government. Should you supplement your Medicare coverage with a long-term care (LTC) insurance policy for additional financial protection? Read on to learn more about the differences in coverage between Medicare and LTC insurance to help you make your decision.

What types of long-term care are covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not cover nursing home care, but it does cover a variety of other services associated with lengthy hospitalizations or permanently disabling conditions. Under your regular Medicare policy, you'll be able to receive coverage for care in a long-term care hospital or skilled nursing facility during your recovery from an injury or illness with associated hospitalization. You may also be able to recover privately at home with the assistance of a Medicare-covered home health nurse, as long as this nurse is solely discharged for medical duties (like administering medication and changing bandages), not helping you with feeding, bathing, or other personal care duties.

However, if you're admitted to a nursing home -- either on your own or after being hospitalized at a long-term care hospital or skilled nursing facility for a period of time -- your Medicare coverage of the services you're receiving will cease. You'll then either be required to pay privately out of your own assets or apply for Medicaid coverage if your assets aren't enough to pay for more than a few months of nursing home care. Alternatively, those who have LTC insurance policies can rely on these policies to negotiate a list price for nursing home care and then pay for this care until the lifetime limits set forth by this policy have been exhausted. 

How can you decide whether you should purchase LTC insurance? 

For many, LTC insurance can be a great way to protect substantial assets from being liquidated to pay a nursing home bill or subject to Medicaid forfeiture if you apply for public assistance. However, like all insurance products, you'll want to weigh your odds of making a claim against the cost of coverage.

For example, if you're in your late 60s and have a heart condition, you may be much more likely to die of a sudden cardiac arrest than a more lingering death that requires nursing home care. On the other hand, if both of your parents had strokes and continued to live for decades, paying to insure yourself against the cost of living out years in a nursing home can be a good investment.

For more information, contact Shifflett Insurance Services Ltd or a similar company.


6 July 2016