A local nursing home or Alzheimer’s Assisted Living Facility recently joined us here at Picture Pub Pizza for a night of movies, family and fun. The facility’s director called us up a couple weeks ago and said they wanted to have a party for their residents and the families to have some fun and educate the public about how Alzheimer’s devastates a family. After the movie and pizza I as the owner of Picture Pub Pizza took some notes because my own mother had dementia and knew how hard it was.
As the American population ages and baby boomers enter retirement, many are becoming aware of the need to prepare for their long-term care needs. But, though awareness is greater now than ever before, few have acted and made the smart, sensible choice to add a Long Term Care Insurance policy to their retirement portfolio.
A recent article discusses the misperceptions and attitudes that many Americans have toward Long Term Care Insurance based on a study of consumers. The gap between knowledge and action is widening and this is troubling for many who hope to have a secure, peaceful retirement. Long Term Care Insurance is insurance that covers the costs associated with so-called long-term care services such as nursing home stays and assisted-living or in-home health aids.
A common misperception is that either regular health insurance or Medicare covers these costs. They do not. Long-term care services are considered non-medically necessary needs, though the need for these services might actually be created by an actual medical event such as the diagnosis of a disease such as Alzheimer’s.
Long-term care, though, is required for more everyday situations as well and not just reserved for major illnesses. Many older people simply need help getting in and out of bed or with cooking and getting around. The study mentioned in the article above found that many Americans’ perceptions of Long Term Care Insurance are flawed. For example, people greatly overestimate the annual premium costs, currently at a national average of $2,207 versus the perception of consumers at $3,906. Likewise, those polled in the study thought that the average daily cost of a nursing home stay was $450 versus the actual daily cost of $215, nationwide.
So, though many perceive the costs of long-term care to be much more than they actually are, many still haven’t taken the important step of purchasing a Long Term Care Insurance policy. This could be due to the fact that only 22% of those polled think that they need Long Term Care Insurance to cover these costs with the rest falsely thinking that Medicare or health insurance will foot the bill.
Another troubling finding revealed in the study is that 4 in 10 of those polled think that Long Term Care Insurance is something to purchase after the age of 60. Though it is never too late to look into a Long Term Care Insurance policy, the best time to buy a policy is when you are in your 50s and healthy because even though you will pay more years’s of premium the total cost paid out in the long run will be much less than if you wait. This insures that you will get the best deal with regard to level of coverage, options and lower monthly premiums.
At any age, however, Long Term Care Insurance is a smart move and many are buying policies early and paying them off while they are in the prime of their working life and can afford the extra monthly premium costs. But, according to the study, many lack the knowledge of Long Term Care Insurance policies and their options. This is unfortunate as Long Term Care Insurance can make the critical difference in a peaceful retirement free of worry about exhausting your nest egg to pay for long-term care services. The time to get educated and act is now. Assuming you’ve done you’re research and are aware, generally, of what long-term care insurance is, when shopping for a plan, there are a number of things and tips to consider.
Long-term care insurance plans can be complicated and often offer many options for level of coverage, type of coverage or care that is covered as well as payment options, among many other factors. But, we can help you navigate the many choices in Long Term Care Insurance plans.
After sitting through the class I learned a lot I did not know about the financial side of the Alzheimer’s problem and now know it can be planned for. As a small business owner of my pizza restaurant I have seen first hand how important it is to plan for unexpected events to happen. Last year it was a burst water pipe, ten years ago an oak tree fell and smashed up the back 1/3 of the building, etc.
The director told me that if you have money to protect, buy long term care insurance… it’s a life saver for his resident’s families who have it. You learn something new every night here at Picture Pub Pizza!