Planning Ahead …


Planning Ahead For Care in Our Autumn Years

      Thoughts of Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance can often be troubling for us.  It’s hard to imagine ourselves as being incapable of doing the everyday activities of life.  No one wants to be dependent on home health aides, an assisted-living facility or a nursing home.  We would not only miss being healthy, mobile and independent, but the expenses for this level of personal care could be devastating without financial help from a good  LTC insurance plan!  My own parents’ worsening health conditions allowed me to understand this unfortunate dilema recently.  They had no Long Term Care Insurance policy! 

     Sticking our head in the sand will not make the effects of aging disappear.  If we are fortunate to live a long life, our body and brain will likely experience a certain degree of weakness or deterioration, and some of our vital parts may even fail completely.  Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Dimentia, broken hips, spinal disorders, and strokes are all debilitating conditions!  At this later stage of life, an elderly person often needs assistance in performing the “activities of daily living”, some of which are: eating, bathing, walking, cooking, dressing, and toileting.  These are basic abilities that we take for granted when we are younger and healthier. 

     During our working career, we may save money for a “normal retirement”, but often no thought or planning is given to providing protection for failing health or frailty in those later years.  Without LTC Insurance, YOU will bear most of the financial expense alone.  Medicare only covers short terms of need!  Do not make the mistake of counting on Medicare if your health fails, and you do not recover.  Become informed by visiting this web site for details: https://questions.medicare.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1296/~/what-is-the-current-medicare-coverage-for-ltc,-nursing-home-care,-and-snf-care%3F.   

     The average life expectancy for Americans is higher than ever before.  It is not unusual for us to reach 80-85 years old.  As a result, approximately half of us will spend some of our senior years in need of long term assistance of some kind.  Many of us are familiar with a relative or friend who can no longer manage all of their own personal needs.  Therefore someone else must be willing to give the time, services, and caring that is needed. 

     The average term  that a loved one is able to give this degree of full-time attention to a senior relative is about 6 months.  The mental and emotional strain on the care-giver can become overwhelming!  In addition to that burden, most non-professional aids are responsible for the needs of their own immediate families, a career job, and possibly their own health issues.  This entails personal sacrifices of time and energy in order to be available for those loved ones in need. 

     The cost to hire home health aides is less than what you would pay for assisted-living or nursing home expenses, if no spouse, family member, or friend can help.  The current national average for annual nursing home expenses is about $75,000 for a private room. 
That is over $200/day!  Medicaid funding only helps if you exhaust your personal assets first!  That means you must spend-down your assets and become financially needy (poor) before Medicaid begins to pay for your long term care expenses!  If a spouse is still living at home, this could adversely effect the couple’s joint resources, which could put a financial strain on his/her means of support.  Read about the guidelines to qualify for Medicaid assistance for long term care in Texas. 

     A licensed insurance agent can discuss your many options and help you have peace of mind concerning your health needs during your senior years.  When applying for Long Term Care Insurance, remember that your health history and current health conditions may affect your eligibility for coverage, as well as your rate.  Your age will be a factor in determining your premiums as well.  It will never cost you less than now!

     Call AustinHealthPlans at: (512) 535-3556 or send an e-mail to: tom@austinhealthplans.comDon’t wait until you have retired to review your options.  Procrastination about this issue could have very costly consequences!

About tcdiehl

I have been an independent insurance agent licensed in Texas since 2003. My focus is providing affordable insurance coverage through multiple reputable insurance providers for individuals, families, and small groups. I can also help with Medicare insurance needs. Allow me to connect you with the appropriate health, life, disability, long term care, and/or dental plan(s) based on your health, personal, and financial needs. Call me at (512) 535-3556, E-mail: tom@austinhealthplans.com.
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