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    blustar's Avatar
    blustar Posts: 9, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #1

    Jun 8, 2008, 06:27 PM
    Long Term Health Care Insurance
    What is everyone's thoughts on Long Term Health Care Ins. Insurance is always a gamble but with the cost of health care skyrocketing and the limitations of Medicare , I sometimes think having it would be a good thing. There is Medicaid but I have been in some of the facilities that cater to Medicaid patients and its not that great.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #2

    Jun 8, 2008, 06:29 PM
    If you are rich, you don't need it, since you could afford it.

    If you are real poor, you could not afford the insurance anywy.

    So if you are in the middle, yes it can be very helpful and a lot of them pay for care if you are also disabled before retirmement
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,910, Reputation: 5430
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    #3

    Jun 8, 2008, 06:35 PM
    I bought long term care insurance when I was 38. It's $400 a year for good coverage. If I bought it today, at my age, it would cost $$$ a year. Buy it when you are younger and be sure you get a good plan. The public library (Consumer Reports magazine for instance) will give you a good idea of what you will need to consider.

    My uncle spent $200,000 of his life savings for nursing homes over a seven-year period. I finally had to apply for public aid/Medicaid for him when he ran out of money. The staff at the home he was in treated him just like the paying residents. Pick your nursing home wisely too.
    ang8318's Avatar
    ang8318 Posts: 299, Reputation: 27
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    #4

    Jun 10, 2008, 08:57 AM
    Just make sure you have a good policy. I work at an assisted living/personal care facility, and some of the patients do not have good insurance, and it does not cover anything but skilled nursing facilities. A lot of times doctors want people to go to personal care because they do not need skilled, and if you do not have quality long term care insurance, it will cost you between 1500-6000 a month for a personal care home... choose wisely. :)
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,392, Reputation: 316
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    #5

    Jun 10, 2008, 10:44 AM
    Fr_Chuck summed it up very eloquently. I would add that most policies cover a portion of homecare to maybe make living at home more feasible. Homecare is less costly than nursing home so insurance co. is likely to encourage it.
    33% of people under 65 and 40% of people 65 and older need long term care from what I have read. With my wife and my parents, it was about 40% (one in hospice).
    I thinks it comes down to a financial decision. Do you mind spending down your savings for you and/or your spouse to pay for nursing home costs, or would you rather hold on to some of your assets to pass on to heirs? You can't wait until you are ready to go in a home to make the decision. The govt has look back periods-if you have given away assets in the past five years (I think it is five) you will be denied an equiv amount of nursing home assistance. Consumer's Reports advises waiting until you are 65 to purchase LTC insurance. The only problem with that is whether your health will hold up to that age, because if you have serious conditions they may not insure you or at a high premium if they do. Medicaid does not pay for nursing home care. When they do pay in cases where the person cannot pay, they seek to recover their costs by putting liens on the person's house and other assets. The govt could decide to severely cut back or eliminate Medicaids involvement in nursing home care. It is a tremendous expense for the govt.
    It's a very difficult decision and it is very expensive and it may never be used. You have to weigh all the factors and make a decision. Also, relative to some earlier comments, I think it is against the law for Nursing homes to treat patients differently based on how they are paying (private or public financing).
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,392, Reputation: 316
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    #6

    Nov 2, 2011, 08:23 AM
    This an old post but I keep getting emails saying that a new answer has been posted but I can't find any. Each time I get the message that there is an update I re-read my post and find it to be not as clear as I intended.
    I think that I meant to say that MEDICARE does not pay for nursing home care (except for a relatively short period for rehabilitation between hospital release and being able to go home and be on your own). When it becomes clear that the patient will not be able to go home or when their time limit (a few months maybe) is reached (whichever comes first), MEDICARE stops paying.
    MEDICAID does pay for nursing home care (varies by state) but only after the person has "spent down" their assets. One state I lived in specified that you could have no more than $ 2,500 worth of assets (some holdings are not included like pre-paid funeral expenses, dwellings under certain conditions, etc, but any assets given away within the past five years more or less establish a deductible that must be paid by the person seeking to go into anursing home, before MEDICAID starts paying for anything). So if you gave away $ 100,000 within the past 5 years and nursing home costs are $ 5,000 per month, you would have to pay for the first 20 months of nursing home care yourself.
    Since these earlier discussions here took place, the Feds have given a pretty clear hint of how much they are willing to become more involved in nursing home care, when they dropped all efforts to make the CLASS act work.
    I am not an attorney but anyone who has serious issues relating to nursing home care should hire an attorney who is experienced in MEDICAID regulations. There are many loopholes and relatively minor decisions can have great financial impact--and it has been reported that nursing home staff sometimes does not give advice in the best interest of the patient but rather in the best interest of the nursing home.

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